af·​ter·​thought | \ ˈaf-tər-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 Unlike the Big Three – Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania – Ohio is something of an afterthought in the 2020 election, the first time that’s been the case since...ever? cleveland, "Ohio is the now the Republican Flyover state that sometimes votes blue: The Flyover," 24 Dec. 2019 Hines seemed like something of an afterthought, an emergency option at best. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Colts' Nyheim Hines: 'I don't even think I had a day like that in any dream'," 22 Dec. 2019 Son's inconsolable reaction was telling of that, the red card given to him by Martin Atkinson feeling like something of an afterthought as he was consoled by manager Mauricio Pochettino, who had made his way onto the park., "André Gomes Suffers Horror Injury During Everton's Draw With Tottenham," 3 Nov. 2019 Whites of the colonial era were more accustomed to eating other variations of poultry, leaving chicken as somewhat of an afterthought. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "Which came first: The fried chicken or the racist trope?," 24 Aug. 2019 Not every moment is polished and perfect, but that seems fitting for what was in real life an impromptu, practically accidental gathering that was only recorded as something of an afterthought. James Hebert, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Lamb’s Players’ ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ gives real-life rockers a run for their money in Vista," 22 July 2019 But sales were a bit of an afterthought for Buick’s product planners. Kyle Stock, The Seattle Times, "Richer Americans are skipping SUVs for station wagons," 7 Jan. 2019 This week, up to 80% of the players headed to major programs will sign, making the traditional February period almost an afterthought. Editors, USA TODAY, "House impeachment vote, college football early signing period: 5 things to know Wednesday," 18 Dec. 2019 Asylum was once almost an afterthought, until an unprecedented surge of migrants made the United States the world's top destination in 2017, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. Arkansas Online, "Asylum-seekers face new barrier," 24 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for afterthought

Time Traveler

The first known use of afterthought was in 1590

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Statistics for afterthought

Last Updated

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Afterthought.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for afterthought


How to pronounce afterthought (audio)

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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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