deliberate

1 of 2

verb

de·​lib·​er·​ate di-ˈli-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce deliberate (audio)
deliberated; deliberating

intransitive verb

: to think about or discuss issues and decisions carefully
The jury deliberated for several days before reaching a verdict.

transitive verb

: to think about deliberately and often with formal discussion before reaching a decision
deliberate the question
was deliberating whether or not to accept the offer

deliberate

2 of 2

adjective

de·​lib·​er·​ate di-ˈli-bə-rət How to pronounce deliberate (audio)
-ˈlib-rət
1
: characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration
a deliberate decision
Ms. Barker herself has said that the decision to write about the war was a deliberate response to patronizing reviews of her working-class settings …Claudia Roth Pierpont
2
: characterized by awareness of the consequences
a deliberate exaggeration
a deliberate act of protest
3
: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved
The jeweler worked at a deliberate pace.
deliberateness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for deliberate

Verb

think, cogitate, reflect, reason, speculate, deliberate mean to use one's powers of conception, judgment, or inference.

think is general and may apply to any mental activity, but used alone often suggests attainment of clear ideas or conclusions.

teaches students how to think

cogitate implies deep or intent thinking.

cogitated on the mysteries of nature

reflect suggests unhurried consideration of something recalled to the mind.

reflecting on fifty years of married life

reason stresses consecutive logical thinking.

able to reason brilliantly in debate

speculate implies reasoning about things theoretical or problematic.

speculated on the fate of the lost explorers

deliberate suggests slow or careful reasoning before forming an opinion or reaching a conclusion or decision.

the jury deliberated for five hours

Adjective

voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willing mean done or brought about of one's own will.

voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion.

a voluntary confession

intentional stresses an awareness of an end to be achieved.

the intentional concealment of vital information

deliberate implies full consciousness of the nature of one's act and its consequences.

deliberate acts of sabotage

willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another.

willing obedience

Example Sentences

Verb The jury deliberated for two days before reaching a verdict. They will deliberate the question. Adjective She spoke in a clear, deliberate manner. He advocates a slow and deliberate approach to the problem.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Twice a year, the bulletin’s science and security board, composed of experts on nuclear weapons and climate change, meets to deliberate. Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Jan. 2023 In the simplest terms, Mia Chung has written a drama with six characters and only three actors, and the resulting double-casting (two sons play their mothers, a daughter plays her father) leads to deliberate visual and narrative slippages. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 12 Nov. 2022 After Jennifer Bonjean concludes, prosecutors are expected to give about an hour of rebuttal argument, after which jurors would be formally instructed on the law and begin to deliberate. Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune, 13 Sep. 2022 The meeting in Kabul was tailored along the lines of Afghanistan’s traditional Loya Jirgas — regular councils of elders, leaders and prominent figures meant to deliberate Afghan policy issues. Rahim Faiez, BostonGlobe.com, 2 July 2022 The meeting in Kabul was tailored along the lines of Afghanistan’s traditional Loya Jirgas — regular councils of elders, leaders and prominent figures meant to deliberate Afghan policy issues. Rahim Faiez, ajc, 2 July 2022 July 27, 2006 - Court adjourns to deliberate a verdict in the Dujail trial. CNN, 11 Mar. 2022 On Friday, the jury deadlock became more serious when a foreman informed Furman that while 11 of the jurors had decided on a verdict, one juror refused to even deliberate or review evidence. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2022 Nearly two years after Alex Woodworth was found stabbed to death, jurors begin to deliberate the case against Ezra McCandless. Jamie Yuccas, CBS News, 29 Jan. 2022
Adjective
On Tuesday, Suffolk District Attorney Kevin R. Hayden said the shooting appeared to have been deliberate. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, 31 Jan. 2023 Some officials saw the decision as a deliberate attempt to aid Republicans in the midterms or to assist Russia at a moment when the United States was leading a global campaign to cut off oil revenue to weaken its position in Ukraine. Missy Ryan, Anchorage Daily News, 26 Jan. 2023 Some officials saw the decision as a deliberate attempt to aid Republicans in the midterms or to assist Russia at a moment when the United States was leading a global campaign to cut off oil revenue to weaken its position in Ukraine. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2023 Otherwise, Poker Face is charmingly episodic in nature, a deliberate attempt to revive the case-of-the-week fun of its network ancestors. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 25 Jan. 2023 But unlike last year, where Doja Cat coincidentally and without planning wore the same makeup as the models at the Balenciaga show, her Schiaparelli couture look was deliberate. Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Jan. 2023 But as the media storm continues to gain traction, the royal institution and its members have still not uttered a word—a deliberate attempt to remedy their public image. Time, 9 Jan. 2023 Ricky Arriola, a west side native and the owner of Break Bread Barber Co., said the decision to open his barber shop in Rose Park was deliberate. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Jan. 2023 The day after the group was exposed, agency workers shredded a number of files in what still looks like a deliberate effort to cover up involvement with the terror group. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deliberate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Verb

Middle English, from Latin deliberatus, past participle of deliberare to consider carefully, perhaps alteration of *delibrare, from de- + libra scale, pound

First Known Use

Verb

1536y, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deliberate was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near deliberate

Cite this Entry

“Deliberate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deliberate. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

deliberate

1 of 2 verb
de·​lib·​er·​ate di-ˈlib-ə-ˌrāt How to pronounce deliberate (audio)
deliberated; deliberating
: to think about carefully : consider problems and decisions carefully
deliberate before answering

deliberate

2 of 2 adjective
de·​lib·​er·​ate di-ˈlib-(ə-)rət How to pronounce deliberate (audio)
1
: decided on as a result of careful thought : carefully considered
a deliberate judgment
2
: done or said on purpose
a deliberate lie
3
: considering facts and arguments carefully : careful and slow in deciding
a deliberate speaker
4
: slow in action : not hurried
deliberate movements
deliberately adverb
deliberateness noun

Legal Definition

deliberate

1 of 2 verb
de·​lib·​er·​ate di-ˈli-bə-ˌrāt How to pronounce deliberate (audio)
deliberated; deliberating

intransitive verb

: to think about and weigh or discuss issues and decisions carefully
the jury retired to deliberate

transitive verb

: to think about or evaluate

deliberate

2 of 2 adjective
de·​lib·​er·​ate di-ˈli-bə-rət How to pronounce deliberate (audio)
1
: characterized by or resulting from careful consideration
especially : characterized by or resulting from evaluation done in a cool state of blood and with a fixed purpose
deliberate murder
compare premeditated
2
: characterized by an understanding of the nature of a thing or act and its consequences
deliberate falsehoods
deliberately adverb
deliberateness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on deliberate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?

PLAY