[ in-truh-spek-shuhn ]
/ ˌɪn trəˈspɛk ʃən /
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observation or examination of one's own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself.
the tendency or disposition to do this.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of introspection

1670–80; <Latin intrōspect(us), past participle of intrōspicere to look within (equivalent to intrō-intro- + spec(ere) to look + -tus past participle suffix) + -ion

OTHER WORDS FROM introspection

in·tro·spec·tion·al, adjectivein·tro·spec·tion·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for introspection

British Dictionary definitions for introspection

/ (ˌɪntrəˈspɛkʃən) /


the examination of one's own thoughts, impressions, and feelings, esp for long periods

Derived forms of introspection

introspectional or introspective, adjectiveintrospectionist, nounintrospectively, adverbintrospectiveness, noun

Word Origin for introspection

C17: from Latin intrōspicere to look within, from intro- + specere to look
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for introspection

[ ĭn′trə-spĕkshən ]


Contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.

Other words from introspection

intro•spect′ v.in′tro•spective (-tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.