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

After some seven years of deliberations, the White House has said no, on national security grounds. Alan Murray, Fortune, "China Mobile, Glencore Woes, HTC Cuts: CEO Daily for July 3, 2018," 3 July 2018 The jury returned, after two and a half days of deliberation, with a not-guilty verdict for all four men. Jason Bailey, New York Times, "‘Sex, Cash and Death’: The Story Behind ‘A Very English Scandal’," 28 June 2018 The verdict, reached after three days of deliberations, did not break down separate amounts to be paid by each defendant. Washington Post, "Jury: Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones owes ex-partner $25.2M," 27 June 2018 In a complex verdict reached after several weeks of testimony but only about two hours of deliberation, the state civil court jury found negligence by Copperfield, the hotel and Copperfield's company, Backstage Disappearing Inc. NBC News, "Jury says magician David Copperfield not liable for tourist's injuries," 30 May 2018 On its second day of deliberations, the panel acquitted Rainey of all charges. Mensah M. Dean,, "3 charged, none convicted: Why a North Philly murder remains unsolved," 29 May 2018 Christopher Lee was tried for the same charges in March 2016, but the jury deadlocked following more than six hours of deliberations, the DA's office said. Laura Mcknight,, "Man pleads guilty to manslaughter, avoiding retrial in fatal Gentilly home invasion," 17 May 2018 That was until, however, there was another controversial VAR moment as the referee decided to award a penalty to Iran after much deliberation on the touchline., "Iran 1-1 Portugal: VAR Grabs the Headlines Again as Late Penalty Denies Group Win for Portugal," 25 June 2018 That suggests that this is an issue that the court came to with a great deal of thought, discussion, and deliberation. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "The Supreme Court Just Greatly Strengthened Digital Privacy," 22 June 2018

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

7 Nov 2018

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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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