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 The hope is that more youngsters will take the type of giant step forward that Gaskin showed in 2020, transforming himself from an afterthought into an NFL starter. Omar Kelly,, "Dolphins Q&A: Shouldn’t stacking more young talent be the Dolphins’ focus this offseason?," 19 Feb. 2021 That afterthought then caught the walk-off touchdown throw against Georgia in overtime of the 2018 national championship game. Joseph Goodman |, al, "The ultimate teammate, Alabama Heisman winner DeVonta Smith dazzled with football artistry," 6 Jan. 2021 Basketball was an afterthought among players as the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, George Floyd and several other Black Americans, as well as their aftermaths, grabbed the nation's attention during a summer of racial reckoning. Randi Richardson, NBC News, "'Up the ante': What players, NBA are doing for racial justice," 29 Dec. 2020 One of the big differences between Windsor and Detroit is that, though Detroit has long been a pipeline for NBA prospects, Windsor is a basketball afterthought. Connor Letourneau,, "Warriors’ Mychal Mulder gives hope to players in hockey-crazed Windsor," 28 Dec. 2020 Jefferson’s austere editing turns the killing almost into an afterthought—a desiccated reiteration of Socrates’ final encounter with hemlock, the simple consequence of having offended the wrong people. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "What Thomas Jefferson Could Never Understand About Jesus," 28 Dec. 2020 Inside tech companies, communications is often seen as soft, squishy, irrational work—an afterthought that should not be prioritized. Danah Boyd, Wired, "The Biden Administration Needs a VP of Engineering, Not a CTO," 23 Dec. 2020 As Senate majority leader, Reid played a key role in turning Nevada from an afterthought into one of the earliest presidential contests, placed third on the Democratic calendar starting in 2008. Los Angeles Times, "Harry Reid made Nevada a presidential battleground. Now he wants more," 22 Dec. 2020 As the second hand ticks on toward New Year’s Eve and the dawn of another year, celebrations might seem like a muted afterthought amid a pandemic that is still playing out. Connie Foong, The Christian Science Monitor, "Good riddance to 2020? Not so fast.," 22 Dec. 2020

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Afterthought.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on afterthought

Nglish: Translation of afterthought for Spanish Speakers

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