Middle English, from Anglo-French muser to gape, idle, muse, from Old French *mus mouth of an animal, from Medieval Latin musus
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of MUSE
ponder, meditate, muse, ruminate mean to consider or examine attentively or deliberately. ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter <pondered the course of action>. meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply <meditated on the meaning of life>. muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance <mused upon childhood joys>. ruminate implies going over the same matter in one's thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption <ruminated on past disappointments>.