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.

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

introspectional, adjective
introspectionist, noun, adjective

1. self-examination, soul-searching. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
introspection (ˌɪntrəˈspɛkʃən)
the examination of one's own thoughts, impressions, and feelings, esp for long periods
[C17: from Latin intrōspicere to look within, from intro- + specere to look]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1670s, from L. introspectionem, from introspectus, pp. of introspicere "to look into, look at," from intro- "inward" + specere "to look at" (see scope (1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

introspection in·tro·spec·tion (ĭn'trə-spěk'shən)
Contemplation of one's own thoughts, feelings, and sensations; self-examination.

in'tro·spect' v.
in'tro·spec'tion·al adj.
in'tro·spec'tive (-tĭv) 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

introspection definition

programming, philosophy
A feature of some programming languages that allows a running program to obtain information about its own implementation.
For example, the Lisp function, "symbol-function" takes a Lisp symbol and returns the function definition associated with that symbol. Lisp is particularly suited to introspection because its source code uses the same underlying representation as its data. Another example is Perl's "can" method which returns true if a given object's class provides a given method.

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


(from Latin introspicere, "to look within"), the process of observing the operations of one's own mind with a view to discovering the laws that govern the mind. In a dualistic philosophy, which divides the natural world (matter, including the human body) from the contents of consciousness, introspection is the chief method of psychology. Thus, it was the method of primary importance to many philosophers-including Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, James Mill, John Stuart Mill, and Alexander Bain-as it was to the 19th-century pioneers of experimental psychology, especially Wilhelm Wundt, Oswald Kulpe, and Edward Bradford Titchener.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The soldiers were able to allow themselves a level of emotion and introspection
  that is simply not possible in combat.
Simply repeating the lies that have already been exposed as lies reveal a deep
  lack of introspection on your part.
He thus typified the constant introspection wherewith he tortured, but could
  not purify himself.
He thus typified the constant introspection wherewith he tortured, but could
  not purify, himself.
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