af·​ter·​thought | \ -ˌthȯt How to pronounce afterthought (audio) \

Definition of afterthought

1 : an idea occurring later
2 : something (such as a part or feature) not thought of originally : something secondary

Examples of afterthought in a Sentence

Then I remembered, almost as an afterthought, to feed the cat. The fact was hidden deep in the report, almost as an afterthought. The lounge was added to the office as an afterthought.
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Recent Examples on the Web

All of this has rendered the original behind-the-scenes tournament bombshell a near afterthought. Hayden Bird,, "5 things to know as the World Cup escalates," 25 June 2018 Women in this demographic still need more brands that treat them like top-notch customers, not afterthoughts. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Henning Delivers Plus-Size Workwear With a Lot of Style," 15 Mar. 2019 An afterthought, her husband Ken wasn’t introduced until 1961. Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "There’s Something About Barbie," 7 Mar. 2019 Theodora’s wedding jewelry was, of course, anything but an afterthought. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "The Bride Wore Emilia Wickstead to Her English Wedding at an 18th-Century Estate," 6 Mar. 2019 And a form of self-expression for which chronically ill and disabled people are regularly an afterthought. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selma Blair Wants to Create an Accessible Fashion Line for Disabled People After MS Diagnosis," 27 Feb. 2019 The union has won some concessions on pay and class size, but whether the deal will improve test scores, graduation rates or college readiness is an afterthought for labor leaders. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Teachers Unions Don’t Really Strike for ‘the Kids’," 22 Jan. 2019 The organization is considered an afterthought in the grassroots cycling world, where races, group rides and other events are often held without its oversight. Dave Skretta, The Seattle Times, "USA Cycling hires New Balance boss DeMartini as its CEO," 7 Jan. 2019 Until the early 20th century, there’s scant evidence of concerns over children refusing what they were given, even though what they were given often was an afterthought of an adult menu. Jennifer Traig, WSJ, "The Making of the Picky Eater," 11 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'afterthought.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of afterthought

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for afterthought

after- + thought entry 1

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Statistics for afterthought

Last Updated

2 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for afterthought

The first known use of afterthought was in 1590

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More Definitions for afterthought



English Language Learners Definition of afterthought

: something done or said after other things because it was not thought of earlier


af·​ter·​thought | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌthȯt How to pronounce afterthought (audio) \

Kids Definition of afterthought

: something done or said that was not thought of originally A bow was added to the present as an afterthought.

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More from Merriam-Webster on afterthought

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with afterthought

Spanish Central: Translation of afterthought

Nglish: Translation of afterthought for Spanish Speakers

Comments on afterthought

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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