noun

  • Self-indulgent or excessive contemplation of oneself or a single issue, at the expense of a wider view.

    ‘he lapsed into his customary navel-gazing’
    [as modifier] ‘navel-gazing New Age types’
    • ‘But why on earth is such theological navel-gazing necessary to determine the future of two people whose devotion for each other has been tested time and time again?’
    • ‘‘That is one area where there is danger of introspection and navel-gazing,’ she says.’
    • ‘For many people thinking is a very esoteric concept and some people would see a conference about thinking as intellectual navel-gazing.’
    • ‘I do want to move on from the last three days navel-gazing though.’
    • ‘Thankfully, though, I believe that the Scottish art world has wider horizons than such navel-gazing, self-pitying introspection.’
    • ‘The whole business of writing about cyber-culture seems vain and navel-gazing to me.’
    • ‘That question will prompt much navel-gazing when the theatre's first productions appear, but looking inwards is only one way to answer it.’
    • ‘It's just been a constant round of self-obsessed navel-gazing here recently, so I thought that you might like me to return to some form of banality.’
    • ‘So now I can stop navel-gazing and get back to current events.’
    • ‘Yes, sometimes it might seem like too much navel-gazing.’
    • ‘This amounts to five hundred pages of self-obsessed navel-gazing, interspersed with intense bouts of self-loathing and lame jokes.’
    • ‘This is all tremendously inward-looking, navel-gazing stuff isn't it?’
    • ‘Instead the focus would shift, away from institutional navel-gazing - which turns off voters in their millions - and towards tangible outcomes.’
    • ‘You could call this navel-gazing, or you could agree that national identity is a vague and powerful thing, and deserves the odd moment of contemplation.’
    • ‘But there will be nothing salutary about this failure if governments retreat from Europe into navel-gazing and narrow national agendas.’
    • ‘Rather than indulging in what they regard as navel-gazing they intend to pursue a mindless pragmatism instead, regardless of what many of their members may think.’
    • ‘All this postmodern self-referential ironic navel-gazing is getting a bit bizarre.’
    • ‘Indeed, this kind of national navel-gazing smacks of the arrogance that drove a generation of egomaniacs to go trekking off to Katmandu to ‘find themselves’.’
    • ‘A photographer with a job must look outside himself, escaping from the private navel-gazing of so much contemporary art.’
    • ‘Perhaps our playwrights should focus less on public navel-gazing and more on creating roles worthy of the host of immensely talented actors who so improbably bless our country.’
    brooding, self-analysis, soul-searching, heart-searching, introversion, self-observation, self-absorption
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Pronunciation:

navel-gazing

/ˈnāvəl ɡāziNG/