contemplate

verb
con·​tem·​plate | \ ˈkän-təm-ˌplāt, -ˌtem-\
contemplated; contemplating

Definition of contemplate

transitive verb

1 : to view or consider with continued attention : meditate on contemplate the vastness of the universe contemplated the meaning of the poem
2 : to view as likely or probable or as an end or intention contemplate marriage contemplated a move to Alaska

intransitive verb

: ponder, meditate wanted time to just sit and contemplate

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Other Words from contemplate

contemplator \ ˈkän-​təm-​ˌplā-​tər , -​ˌtem \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for contemplate

consider, study, contemplate, weigh mean to think about in order to arrive at a judgment or decision. consider may suggest giving thought to in order to reach a suitable conclusion, opinion, or decision. refused even to consider my proposal study implies sustained purposeful concentration and attention to details and minutiae. study the plan closely contemplate stresses focusing one's thoughts on something but does not imply coming to a conclusion or decision. contemplate the consequences of refusing weigh implies attempting to reach the truth or arrive at a decision by balancing conflicting claims or evidence. weigh the pros and cons of the case

Examples of contemplate in a Sentence

He contemplated the meaning of the poem for a long time. I'd like some time to just sit and contemplate. She stood and quietly contemplated the scene that lay before her.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Some of the year’s best documentaries wedded rich themes to unusually twisty stories, hooking viewers with a narrative before doubling back to contemplate its meaning. Noel Murray, The Verge, "The 10 best documentaries of 2018," 18 Dec. 2018 The mural is a prayer for unity, one the refugee spends his days contemplating from behind the counter. Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Exile in the Tenderloin: The quest for a future at San Francisco’s only Sudanese cafe," 17 May 2018 The Trump administration contemplated a small-scale strike that involved hitting Kim in some limited way and then expecting that to restrain him. Alex Ward, Vox, "How Trump made the North Korea crisis worse," 12 Dec. 2018 For his part, Dom briefly contemplated pitting himself against Wendell in the challenge, lacking confidence in Laurel or fellow ally Angela Perkins to get the job done. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Survivor Ghost Island': Jeff Probst Breaks Down the "Historic" Finale," 23 May 2018 In a letter to a friend, Einstein contemplated the challenge of merging general relativity with his other brainchild, the nascent theory of quantum mechanics. George Musser, Scientific American, "What Is Spacetime?," 8 May 2018 Photo: Getty Plans for a tough approach to China were contemplated by the Trump administration shortly after the inauguration. Jeremy Page, WSJ, "U.S. Edges Toward New Cold-War Era With China," 13 Oct. 2018 Under the chain of succession that’s been contemplated by the administration, Sessions chief of staff Matthew Whitaker would be in line to take over as deputy attorney general if Rosenstein departs. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Rosenstein’s job to be topic of Thursday meeting with Trump," 25 Sep. 2018 According to Dulberg, the TSA contemplates only one Fare: the Fare determined by the Fare Calculation. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Thousands of Uber drivers set to get $75, before lawyers’ fees, in settlement," 26 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'contemplate.' 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 contemplate

circa 1533, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for contemplate

Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari, from com- + templum space marked out for observation of auguries — more at temple

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Last Updated

3 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for contemplate

The first known use of contemplate was circa 1533

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More Definitions for contemplate

contemplate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of contemplate

: to think deeply or carefully about (something)

: to think deeply

: to think about doing (something)

contemplate

verb
con·​tem·​plate | \ ˈkän-təm-ˌplāt \
contemplated; contemplating

Kids Definition of contemplate

1 : to look at with careful and thoughtful attention
2 : to think about deeply and carefully
3 : to have in mind : plan on Maybe we should contemplate a trip to Europe.

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