contemplate

verb
con·​tem·​plate | \ ˈkän-təm-ˌplāt How to pronounce contemplate (audio) , -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 How to pronounce contemplator (audio) , -​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

Since her mother’s death, Hilary has contemplated her mastectomy choice. Catherine Bigelow, SFChronicle.com, "SF Chronicle columnist Leah Garchik gets a big thank you and swell sendoff," 25 June 2019 Though in the past, some Democrats have contemplated skipping over the South, where it's been notoriously difficult for a Democrat to win, the former vice president claimed that wouldn't be his strategy. CBS News, "Joe Biden says he'll win Republican-leaning states in the the South," 17 June 2019 This was a future that many people had contemplated in the nineteen-thirties, the time of the Great Depression and the rise of Stalinism and Fascism. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, "“1984” at Seventy: Why We Still Read Orwell’s Book of Prophecy," 8 June 2019 The organization says research shows more than a third of women who have been raped have contemplated suicide, and 13% have attempted. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "Media got Dutch teen's 'euthanasia' death wrong," 5 June 2019 Kevin Hines was 19, had been diagnosed with mental illness, had long contemplated ending his life, and should have been killed on impact. Melissa Fay Greene, The Cut, "A mother considers her son’s final thoughts and a type of suicide we don’t fully understand.," 24 June 2018 The niche Murphy had contemplating trying to fill was that of a bipartisan consensus maker. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Patrick Murphy decides not to run for governor, endorses Gwen Graham," 7 June 2018 Until either side actually imposes tariffs substantially broader than anything now being contemplated, very little has changed. Zachary Karabell, WIRED, "Why the US-China ‘Trade War’ Remains a War of Words," 30 May 2018 Nearly half of young people who self-identify as LGBT have contemplated suicide, compared to 11 percent of youth who do not identify as LGBT, researchers found. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "Nearly 16 percent of 18 to 24 year olds in Mass. identify as LGBT, report says," 24 May 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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Statistics for contemplate

Last Updated

4 Jul 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 How to pronounce contemplate (audio) \
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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Comments on contemplate

What made you want to look up contemplate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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