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

The complaints are often very funny — so sorry for the loss of your gamertag, Scrotal Recall — but there’s a lesson here for a company like Facebook, which is currently contemplating a Supreme Court. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we can’t stop debating whether Facebook sells data," 14 Dec. 2018 These features make Jezero Crater such an appealing target that this isn't even the first time that NASA has contemplated landing here. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "NASA picks a landing spot on Mars for its 2020 rover," 19 Nov. 2018 The French fashion house shared a video from the campaign in which Jennifer is seen wandering and contemplating her way through some type of rustic, ranch-like environment. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Jennifer Lawrence’s New Dior Ad Is Being Accused of Cultural Appropriation," 16 Nov. 2018 Khloé also got emotional during the scene where her sisters were contemplating how to tell her about the news. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Live-Tweeted Last Night's KUWTK Episode About Tristan Thompson," 5 Nov. 2018 In a speech at St Peter's Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis said that the crucifix is a religious sign to be 'contemplated and understood', rather than merchandised. Fox News, "Pope Francis says it's ‘abuse’ to accessorize with the crucifix," 2 Oct. 2018 Murray is contemplating a surgery in New York with Dr. Edwin Su, a 47-year-old surgeon who loves tennis. Tom Perrotta, WSJ, "A Surgery That Could Save Andy Murray’s Tennis Career," 23 Jan. 2019 On an absurdly beautiful autumn day, Thomasin McKenzie is contemplating the blazing trees of Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, which are peacocking in bursts of reds and yellows. Lauren Mechling, Vogue, "Rising Star Alert! Meet New Zealand’s Thomasin McKenzie," 7 Dec. 2018 James Murdoch now is contemplating life beyond Fox after working nearly 23 years in his father’s company. Meg James, latimes.com, "After 23 years in his father's company, James Murdoch is contemplating life beyond Fox," 30 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

14 Feb 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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