an instance of apprehending the true nature of a thing, especially through intuitive understanding: an insight into 18th-century life.
penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth.
an understanding of relationships that sheds light on or helps solve a problem.
(in psychotherapy) the recognition of sources of emotional difficulty.
an understanding of the motivational forces behind one's actions, thoughts, or behavior; self-knowledge.

1150–1200; Middle English; see in-1, sight

incite, insight (see synonym study at incite).

2. perception, apprehension, intuition, understanding, grasp. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
insight (ˈɪnˌsaɪt)
1.  the ability to perceive clearly or deeply; penetration
2.  a penetrating and often sudden understanding, as of a complex situation or problem
3.  psychol
 a.  the capacity for understanding one's own or another's mental processes
 b.  the immediate understanding of the significance of an event or action
4.  psychiatry the ability to understand one's own problems, sometimes used to distinguish between psychotic and neurotic disorders

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, innsihht, "sight with the eyes of the mind," mental vision, understanding," from in + sight. Sense shaded into "penetrating understanding into character or hidden nature" (c.1580).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

insight in·sight (ĭn'sīt')
Understanding, especially an understanding of the motives and reasons behind one's actions.

in'sight·ful (ĭn'sīt'fəl, ĭn-sīt'-) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Computing Dictionary

INSIGHT definition

A simulation and modelling language especially for health care problems.
["Simulation Modeling with INSIGHT", S.D. Roberts Proc 1983 Winter Sim Conf, S.D. Roberts et al eds, pp.7-16].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Encyclopedia Britannica


in learning theory, immediate and clear learning or understanding that takes place without overt trial-and-error testing. Insight occurs in human learning when people recognize relationships (or make novel associations between objects or actions) that can help them solve new problems.

Learn more about insight with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Similar results were obtained in the second study, in which performance on
  three insight problems was gauged.
Besides being rather cool, the result provides new insight into how to treat
  traumatic memories in people.
Yet despite years of study, new insight into the creature's unusual form of
  communication continues to come to light.
The biology underlying this self-image has proven difficult to figure out, but
  the results of a new study offer some insight.
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