adjective \ˈpen(t)-siv\

: quietly sad or thoughtful

Full Definition of PENSIVE

:  musingly or dreamily thoughtful
:  suggestive of sad thoughtfulness
pen·sive·ly adverb
pen·sive·ness noun

Examples of PENSIVE

  1. The child sat by himself, looking pensive.
  2. <rainy days often put her in a pensive mood>
  3. … the combination of national crisis and imminent electoral victory creates an atmosphere at once pensive and elated. —Yossi Klein Halevi, New Republic, 25 Dec. 2000

Origin of PENSIVE

Middle English pensif, from Anglo-French, from penser to think, from Latin pensare to ponder, frequentative of pendere to weigh — more at pendant
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: pen sketch
Previous Word in the Dictionary: pension trust
All Words Near: pensive

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up pensive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).