af·ter·thought | \ -ˌthȯt \

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

The narrative has so many characters that some remain afterthoughts (Squeak, Harpo’s girlfriend) or mere sketches (Harpo himself). Lawrence Toppman, charlotteobserver, "A deeper ‘Purple’ than we’ve seen reaches Charlotte via Broadway Lights," 12 July 2018 Showing unity seemed an afterthought for the ‘‘America First’’ president. Jonathan Lemire,, "No shove, but Trump body language speaks to frosty relations," 11 July 2018 Exactly a decade ago Apple opened the App Store, a relative afterthought in Steve Jobs’s vision of how customers should use his iPhone, released the previous year. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Celebrating Apple's Lucrative Switcheroo," 11 July 2018 And Zach Eflin – a pitcher who began the season in triple A almost as an afterthought – has emerged as a serious contender to be an all-star. Matt Breen,, "Phillies should follow their motto, 'Be Bold,' and trade for Manny Machado," 6 July 2018 DeMarcus Cousins was one of the league’s premier players before his agency and now may be no more than an afterthought. Nathaniel Friedman, GQ, "Boogie Cousins Heads for the Bay," 3 July 2018 The project could dramatically reshape a city that, despite its size and Silicon Valley affiliations, has long been treated like a Bay Area afterthought. Ingrid Burrington, The Atlantic, "Who Gets to Live in Silicon Valley?," 25 June 2018 Like many of today’s renovated garages, the Dunlap’s garage has become an integral part of the rest of their home, rather than simply an afterthought. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "The tricked-out, high-end garages you will dream of," 12 June 2018 Now, Nyle is once again coming forward to engage with the public about why deaf visibility and support need to become the norm rather than an afterthought. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Nyle DiMarco Called Out Marvel for Not Having a Deaf Hawkeye in the Avengers Films," 17 May 2018

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

17 Sep 2018

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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 \

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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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).


a magnificent or impressive array

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