Definition of pensive
1 : musingly or dreamily thoughtful a pensive young poet
2 : suggestive of sad thoughtfulness her face had the pensive mournfulness of a seraph in an old sad painting — Herman Wouk
Examples of pensive in a Sentence
… the combination of national crisis and imminent electoral victory creates an atmosphere at once pensive and elated. —Yossi Klein Halevi, New Republic, 25 Dec. 2000
We take in the synchronized swimming of sardines and the pensive patrol of a leopard shark. —Roger Rosenblatt, Time, 5 Oct. 1998
… did not seem depressed so much as pensive, and within a few minutes he was talking eagerly—in fact, unstoppably—about his favorite subject: school. —James Traub, New Yorker, 19 Dec. 1994
The child sat by himself, looking pensive.
rainy days often put her in a pensive mood
Recent Examples of pensive from the Web
His lustrous sound and tenderness were ideal for the pensive passages of the slow movement.
Sam is asleep before our plane leaves the runway, but Elizabeth buries herself in a book, still pensive and more than a little sad.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pensive'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
PENSIVE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pensive for English Language Learners
: quietly sad or thoughtful
PENSIVE Defined for Kids
Definition of pensive for Students
: lost in serious or sad thought a pensive mood
Seen and Heard
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