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From New Latin intrōvertere, from intro- (within) and vertere (to turn). Popularized as a psychological term by the German works of Carl Jung.

Pronunciation 1[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɪn.tɹə.vɜːt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɪn.tɹə.vɝt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)t


introvert (plural introverts)

  1. (zoology) An organ or other body part that is or can be turned inside out, especially an anterior portion of some annelid worms capable of retraction.
    • 1883, E. Ray Lankester, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. XVI, p. 652, s.v. "Mollusca":
      Important distinctions which obtain amongst the various ‘introverts’ or intro- and e-versible tubes so frequently met with in animal bodies.
    • 1990, Deborah A. Coulombe, Seaside Naturalist, →ISBN, page 76:
      Peanut worms (phylum Sipunculida) are drab-colored bottom dwellers, most of which are less then four inches long. Their body is divided into two sections: the trunk and the introvert. The introvert, the narrow neck-like anterior section, is used as a probe.
    • 2006, Nematodes, Leeches, and Other Worms, →ISBN, page 38:
      When a peanut worm feeds, it extends and waves its introvert so that the mouth at the tip wanders across the seabed.
    • 2009, Lynn Marguli &, Michael J Chapman, Kingdoms and Domains: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth, →ISBN:
      The introvert is everted by hydraulic pressure exerted by contraction of body muscles on the coelomic fluid.
  2. (psychology) An introverted person: one who is considered more thoughtful than social, with a personality more inwardly than outwardly directed; one who often prefers to have time in non-social situations.
    • 1916, Constance Ellen Long trans. Carl Jung as Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology, p. 349:
      An Extravert can hardly conceive the necessity which compels the Introvert to conquer the world by means of a system.
    • 1918 April, Phyllis Blanchard, "A Psycho-Analytic Study of August Comte", American Journal of Psychology, p. 163:
      In order to understand the marked contract between Comte's mental attitude during his early years and that of his later life, we must keep in mind Jung's hypothesis of the two psychological types, the introvert and extrovert,—the thinking type and the feeling type.
    • 1920 May 21, Challenge, p. 44:
      All works of the imagination are conceived by men of the introvert type.
    • 1925, Charles Fox, Educational Psychology, p. 254:
      The introvert abstracts from the object and deals with it by concepts concentrating upon the inner world of thought.
    • 2021 January 13, Paul Clifton, “Delivering a basis for rail changes”, in RAIL, issue 922, page 30:
      This softly spoken but fluent communicator describes himself as an introvert who prefers not to shout from the rooftops.
  3. (figuratively, proscribed) A reserved person.
Usage notes[edit]

Psychologists tend to distinguish between introversion, which defines one's inherent social preferences and exists on a spectrum of behavior with ambiversion and extraversion, from shyness and other manifestations of social anxiety or trauma. Popular use tends to lump such behaviors together and sometimes pejoratively consider them withdrawn or antisocial.

Related terms[edit]


introvert (comparative more introvert, superlative most introvert)

  1. Alternative form of introverted.
    • 1934 July, British Journal of Psychology, p. 26:
      They were noticeably more introvert, schizoid and desurgent in temperament.

Pronunciation 2[edit]


introvert (third-person singular simple present introverts, present participle introverting, simple past and past participle introverted)

  1. To turn inwards.
    1. To think about internal or spiritual matters.
      • 1671, Abraham Woodhead trans. The Life of the Holy Mother Saint Teresa..., xxviii:
        [] the Soul being straight, introverted [] into itself, and easily conforming to God's will and time []
      • 1822, William Hazlitt, "Prejudice" in Table-talk, p. 85:
        The less we look abroad, the more our ideas are introverted, and our habitual impressions... grow together into a kind of concrete substance.
    2. (zoology) To withdraw an organ or body part within itself or its base.
      • 1785, William Cowper, "The Task", Cant. IV, ll. 633 ff.:
        His awkward gait, his introverted toes,
        Bent knees, round shoulders, and dejected looks []
Derived terms[edit]




introvert m

  1. introvert (psychology)


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: in‧tro‧vert


introvert (comparative introverter, superlative introvertst)

  1. introvert