de·​lib·​er·​a·​tion | \ di-ˌli-bə-ˈrā-shən \

Definition of deliberation

1a : the act of thinking about or discussing something and deciding carefully : the act of deliberating After careful deliberation, he decided to study medicine rather than law.
b : a discussion and consideration by a group of persons (such as a jury or legislature) of the reasons for and against a measure The jury returned a verdict after a four-hour deliberation.
2 : the quality or state of being deliberate spoke with clarity and deliberation worked with deliberation on the painting

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Other Words from deliberation

deliberative \ -​ˈli-​bə-​ˌrā-​tiv , -​ˈli-​b(ə-​)rə-​ \ adjective
deliberatively adverb
deliberativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for deliberation


account, advisement, consideration, debate, reflection, study, thought


short shrift

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Examples of deliberation in a Sentence

After hours of deliberation, the council came to a decision. Jury deliberations lasted two days. She spoke to the audience with clarity and deliberation.
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Recent Examples on the Web

European manufacturers such as Ericsson AB and Nokia Corp. are also watching the U.S. deliberations with apprehension, since both have major operations in China. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Rural U.S. Carriers Resist Proposed Chinese Telecom Ban Aimed at Huawei," 11 Feb. 2019 Royal went on trial in 2017, but a mistrial was declared when the jury reached an impasse in deliberations. Pauline Repard,, "Man sent to prison for 105 years for 2007 Spring Valley murder," 13 July 2018 The longer the deliberations go, the more likely the government will ask EU leaders for an extension of talks. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Brexit Deal Hangs in Balance as May Braces for Defeat in Crucial Vote," 15 Jan. 2019 After a morning of deliberations, the 10 finalists of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund were announced today on Vogue and the CFDA’s social media platforms. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Introducing the 10 Finalists of the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund," 18 July 2018 Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "U.S. Opposition to Breast-Feeding Resolution Stuns World Health Officials," 8 July 2018 The results of this week's parallel talks are likely to dictate whether the June 12 summit between Trump and Kim is possible, according to a US official familiar with the ongoing deliberations. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump ramps up pressure to get North Korea summit on track," 28 May 2018 Exemption 5 generally does not cover factual material, as opposed to the deliberations of government employees, Marshall noted. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai’s “Harlem Shake” video preparations must remain secret, FCC says," 6 Apr. 2018 Eventually, after much deliberation, the museum decided on a particular shade of dark blue. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Seeing Rembrandt in Full," 11 Jan. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for deliberation

see deliberate entry 2

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Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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The first known use of deliberation was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of deliberation

: careful thought or discussion done in order to make a decision
: the quality of being slow and careful


de·​lib·​er·​a·​tion | \ di-ˌli-bə-ˈrā-shən \

Kids Definition of deliberation

1 : careful thought : consideration Still, she thought after quite a long deliberation, it was probably all right to tell her children …— Robert C. O'Brien, Rats of NIMH
2 : the quality of being deliberate He spoke with great deliberation.


de·​lib·​er·​a·​tion | \ di-ˌli-bə-ˈrā-shən \

Legal Definition of deliberation

1a : the act of deliberating — compare premeditation
b : a discussion and consideration by a group of persons (as a jury or legislature) of the reasons for or against a measure
2 : the quality or state of being deliberate killing with deliberation

Other Words from deliberation

deliberative \ dē-​ˈli-​bə-​ˌrā-​tiv, -​brə-​tiv \ adjective

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