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.
Recent Examples on the Web And in a small photo placed in the corner, almost like an afterthought, is a white chapel balancing on a ledge high up the mountain. New York Times, 12 May 2022 The OnePlus 10's camera hardware feels like an afterthought. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 18 Apr. 2022 As a result, the ground game in Ohio can seem like an afterthought. The New Yorker, 16 Apr. 2022 The greens themselves were overcooked and mushy, and the pile of kasha was so small as to seem like an afterthought. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 Apr. 2022 The fact that this new take on an old chestnut is coming to a theater near you almost feels like an afterthought — it is specifically designed to be watched in a state of distraction and/or defenseless against its aggressive attempts to charm. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2022 But the godawful 15-inch tablet on the dashboard looks like an afterthought. Ronald Ahrens, Robb Report, 3 Mar. 2022 So many brands do it as an afterthought or dip their toe in. Sharon Edelson, Forbes, 3 May 2022 But a vision where no one on foot gets killed on the road also requires a paradigm shift: one that views people on foot or bikes as a priority, not an afterthought, in terms of designing connectivity within a city. Kayla Dwyer, IndyStar, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of afterthought

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for afterthought

after- + thought entry 1

Learn More About afterthought

Time Traveler for afterthought

Time Traveler

The first known use of afterthought was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near afterthought

after the hour



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for afterthought

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Afterthought.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for afterthought


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on afterthought

Nglish: Translation of afterthought for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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