the act or process of close and penetrating analysis of oneself, to determine one's true motives and sentiments.

Origin of soul-searching

First recorded in 1605–15 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for soul-searching

Contemporary Examples of soul-searching

Historical Examples of soul-searching

  • He paused, and their eyes were locked in a soul-searching look.

  • On the wind was coming the ghost of a smell, faint and horrible and soul-searching.

    The Beach of Dreams

    H. De Vere Stacpoole

  • I've done some soul-searching myself, and it hasn't been a pleasant task.

    The Lani People

    J. F. Bone

  • The only questions asked were soul-searching ones put to herself.

    The Foolish Virgin

    Thomas Dixon

  • She expected some curt, soul-searching question at the end of it.

    The Odds

    Ethel M. Dell

British Dictionary definitions for soul-searching



deep or critical examination of one's motives, actions, beliefs, etc


displaying the characteristics of deep or painful self-analysis
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