de·​lib·​er·​a·​tion | \ di-ˌli-bə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce deliberation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce deliberative (audio) , -​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

Shortly after Thursday’s closing arguments, a jury began its deliberations over Van Dyke’s fate. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Jason Van Dyke’s trial for the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald, explained," 5 Oct. 2018 Earlier in the year, the person familiar with the alliance’s deliberations said, the Japanese government had tried to act as a counterweight to the French state, which was asserting itself. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "Nissan Enlisted Japanese Government to Fend Off Renault Merger," 15 Feb. 2019 Flowers’s most recent retrial, in 2010, resulted in a verdict reached after only half an hour of juror deliberation. Aja Romano, Vox, "Curtis Flowers was tried 6 times for the same crime. Now the Supreme Court will hear his case.," 6 Nov. 2018 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

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 Mar 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 How to pronounce deliberation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce deliberation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce deliberative (audio) \ adjective

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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