c. 1200, innsihht, "sight with the 'eyes' of the mind, mental vision, understanding from within," from in (prep.) + sight (n.). But the meaning often seems to be felt as "sight into" (something else), and so the sense shifted to "penetrating understanding into character or hidden nature" (1580s). Similar formation in Dutch inzigt, German einsicht, Danish indsigt.
updated on December 03, 2015