[ in-truh-spek-shuhn ]
/ ˌɪn trəˈspɛk ʃən /


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.

Nearby words

  1. intron,
  2. intropin,
  3. introrse,
  4. introrsely,
  5. introspect,
  6. introspective,
  7. introsusception,
  8. introversion,
  9. introvert,
  10. introverted

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

Related formsin·tro·spec·tion·al, adjectivein·tro·spec·tion·ist, noun, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples 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 Formsintrospectional 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

Word Origin and History for introspection



1670s, noun of action from past participle stem of Latin introspicere "to look into, look at," from intro- "inward" (see intro-) + specere "to look at" (see scope (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for introspection


[ ĭn′trə-spĕkshən ]


Contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.
Related formsintro•spect′′tro•spective (-tĭv) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.