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From New Latin intrōversio, from intrōvertere (to turn within), from Classical Latin intro- (within) and vertere (to turn). Equivalent to introvert +‎ -sion.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɪntɹəʊˈvɜːʃən/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ɪntɹəˈvəɹʒən/, /ɪntɹəˈvəɹʃən/, /ɪntɹoʊˈvəɹʃən/
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(r)ʒən


introversion (usually uncountable, plural introversions)

  1. A turning inward, particularly:
    • 1796, Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia, Vol. II, p. 186:
      This disease is sometimes produced by the introversion of the edge of the lower eyelid.
    1. The action of turning one's thoughts upon internal or spiritual matters.
      • 1654, Thomas Gataker, A Discours Apologetical, p. 68:
        ...their... Fastings, Prayings,... Introversions,... Humiliations, Mortifications...
      • 1788, John Wesley, Works, Vol. VI, p. 451:
        The attending to the voice of Christ within you is what [mystics] term Introversion.
      • 1870, James Russell Lowell, My Study Windows, p. 214:
        ... Hamlet, who so perfectly typifies the introversion and complexity of modern thought as compared with ancient...
    2. (psychology) A personality orientation towards the self and mental abstraction; behavior expressing such orientation.
      • 1912, Trigant Burrow, "Conscious and Unconscious Mentation from the Psychoanalytic Viewpoint", Psychological Bulletin, No. 9, p. 159: that when in later life there occurs an introversion (in the sense of Jung), it consists of a harking back to regressive, reminiscent, infantile material.
      • 1915, Carl Jung, "On Psychological Understanding", Journal of Abnormal Psychology, No. 9, p. 396:
        I called the hysterical type the extraversion type and the psychasthénic type the introversion type.
      • 1955 March 19, Science News-Letter, p. 185:
        Patients with this disease are at times completely withdrawn from the world around them and give the picture of the very extreme of introversion.
      • 1964, John Michael Argyle, Psychology & Social Problems, p. 75:
        Eysenck has suggested the three dimensions of neuroticism, psychoticism and introversion-extraversion.
    3. (poetry and literature) Arrangement of two similar words, lines, etc. to form the middle part of a structure.
      • 1896, Richard Green Moulton, The Literary Study of the Bible, p. 50:
        Such introversion is merely a matter of form.