af·​ter·​thought ˈaf-tər-ˌthȯt How to pronounce afterthought (audio)
: an idea occurring later
: 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.
Recent Examples on the Web In exoplanetary science, white dwarfs are usually only an afterthought. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 No room was an afterthought— even the mudroom off the kitchen features custom Spanish tile. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 15 Jan. 2024 Recent wargames suggest the U.S. Navy would struggle mightily to defeat a Chinese fleet that was an afterthought just two decades ago. Gil Barndollar, TIME, 12 Feb. 2024 But the days of Microsoft being an afterthought in the tech world are over. Gerrit De Vynck, Washington Post, 31 Jan. 2024 But back then, music was something of an afterthought for the rapper when asked to look ahead to the future. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 31 Jan. 2024 The franchise turmoil has turned the Sparks into an afterthought for most top free agents in recent years. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2024 During the rut, grabbing a bite to eat was an afterthought for bucks, but right now and in the weeks to come, choosing a prime food source is key to their survival. Scott Bestul, Field & Stream, 4 Jan. 2024 No nook or cranny was an afterthought—even the powder rooms feature the finest European tile flooring and walls, Pink Namibia marble vanities embellished with polished Dornbracht fixtures. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 16 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'afterthought.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


after- + thought entry 1

First Known Use

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of afterthought was in 1590

Dictionary Entries Near afterthought

Cite this Entry

“Afterthought.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


af·​ter·​thought -ˌthȯt How to pronounce afterthought (audio)
: a later thought about something one has done or said
: something not thought of originally

More from Merriam-Webster on afterthought

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!