contemplative

1 of 2

adjective

con·​tem·​pla·​tive kən-ˈtem-plə-tiv How to pronounce contemplative (audio)
ˈkän-təm-ˌplā-,
-ˌtem- How to pronounce contemplative (audio)
: marked by or given to contemplation
specifically : of or relating to a religious order devoted to prayer and penance
a contemplative order of nuns
contemplatively adverb
contemplativeness noun

contemplative

2 of 2

noun

: a person who practices contemplation

Examples of contemplative in a Sentence

Adjective He has lived a quiet, contemplative life. She joined a contemplative order of nuns.
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Bouts invests the scene with a contemplative hush of supplication. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2024 In this contemplative return to his roots, the director adopts the unhurried mosaic style of his earlier works. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 May 2024 Adlon’s style has always struck me as drawn out of the 1970s, a little meandering, some time to think and look at the screen, and that’s shown off to good effect in the film’s more contemplative scenes. Alissa Wilkinson, New York Times, 16 May 2024 And although it wasn’t intended to be a breakup song, Luhman’s haunting vocals and the track’s contemplative instrumentation sound like a foreshadowing of what was to come. Britt Julious, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2024 All this cramming of Swift’s music gave the educator plenty of contemplative and creative time. Howard Cohen, Miami Herald, 10 Apr. 2024 The nuns’ tale begins with one sister, a descendant of enslaved people, who left the Oblate Sisters of Providence, an order of Black nuns in Pennsylvania, to start her own, more contemplative order. Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star, 29 Mar. 2024 Netflix’s answer to Da Shi, Clarence, is now British and a softer, more contemplative presence than his curmudgeon literary counterpart. Charles Pulliam-Moore, The Verge, 21 Mar. 2024 Take contemplative walks through bustling city streets or serene forest paths, tuning in to the subtle stimuli that surround you. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024
Noun
Quirky and contemplative, this delectable documentary takes us on a surprising global odyssey into the world of cheese, drawing unexpected parallels between the aging of cheese and the human experience of growing old. Jack Dunn, Variety, 17 Apr. 2024 Rebecca Hall stood in front of an easel, her face contemplative. Thessaly La Force, New York Times, 28 Mar. 2024 The lengthy, meandering interview displayed sides of Musk from combative and smug to philosophical and contemplative. Jaimie Ding, Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2023 Worldly and contemplative, the Hated were marking their place in an unjust society, perhaps to simply affirm their existence. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 This contemplative, unhurried workflow resulted in Promises, the 2021 collaborative album from Floating Points and Sanders, along with the London Symphony Orchestra. Katie Bain, Billboard, 19 Sep. 2023 Pictured in a black hat and her sunglasses, the singer sat on the floor looking contemplative in the first photo. Jill Lupupa, Peoplemag, 24 Aug. 2023 Both contemplative, both informed by Grant’s mellow vocals, the tracks have jumpstarted Grant’s return to songwriting. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 5 May 2023 It’s this juxtaposition — between the feel-good and the contemplative — that not only defines Ballerini’s life at the moment but also her mature and refreshing new LP. Dan Hyman, Rolling Stone, 23 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'contemplative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English contemplatif "devoted to or concerned with spiritual meditation," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin contemplātīvus, going back to Latin, "theoretical, speculative," from contemplātus, past participle of contemplāre, contemplārī "to look at fixedly, observe, notice, ponder" + -īvus -ive — more at contemplate

Noun

Middle English contemplatyfe "person devoted to spiritual meditation," borrowed from Medieval Latin contemplātīvus, noun derivative of contemplātīvus "devoted to or concerned with spiritual meditation" — more at contemplative entry 1

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of contemplative was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near contemplative

Cite this Entry

“Contemplative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contemplative. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

contemplative

adjective
con·​tem·​pla·​tive
kən-ˈtem-plət-iv;
ˈkänt-əm-ˌplāt-,
ˈkän-ˌtem-
: involving or devoted to contemplation : meditative
the contemplative life
contemplatively adverb
contemplativeness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on contemplative

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