pon·​der | \ ˈpän-dər How to pronounce ponder (audio) \
pondered; pondering\ ˈpän-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce pondering (audio) \

Definition of ponder

transitive verb

1 : to weigh in the mind : appraise pondered their chances of success
2 : to think about : reflect on pondered the events of the day

intransitive verb

: to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply

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Other Words from ponder

ponderer \ ˈpän-​dər-​ər How to pronounce ponderer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for ponder

ponder, meditate, muse, ruminate mean to consider or examine attentively or deliberately. ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter. pondered the course of action meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply. meditated on the meaning of life muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance. mused upon childhood joys ruminate implies going over the same matter in one's thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption. ruminated on past disappointments

Examples of ponder in a Sentence

He pondered the question before he answered. The team pondered their chances of success. We pondered whether we could afford the trip.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But the Internet has been pondering the future of the new royal since last year when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got engaged. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "Could Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Child Be a US President and In Line For the Throne?," 15 Oct. 2018 While the president has been pondering his choice, his aides have been preparing for what is expected to be a tough confirmation fight. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump picks Kavanaugh for Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 That’s worth pondering during tomorrow’s fireworks. Alan Murray, Fortune, "China Mobile, Glencore Woes, HTC Cuts: CEO Daily for July 3, 2018," 3 July 2018 Loew will ponder changes to his starting line-up, with Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus -- who appeared in front of the media alongside Mueller -- a contender to come into the side. Andy Scott, chicagotribune.com, "Muller: Pressure on Germany to win 'terrifically high'," 20 June 2018 The Saints should ponder their options at wide receiver, especially with Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman not a given to return to the roster. Larry Holder, NOLA.com, "Saints offensive free agent wish list: Jimmy Graham and a slot wide receiver," 11 Mar. 2018 Hosted and organized by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, participants in the four-day gathering will ponder the intricacies of Shakespeare’s scripts and how to bring them greater relevance more than 400 years after they were written. David Lyman, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati to become center of Shakespeare universe," 11 Jan. 2018 The question at first seems unnecessary, but once pondered, leads to intriguing realizations. David P. Barash, WSJ, "‘Good Reasons for Bad Feelings’ Review: Suffering’s Silver Lining," 13 Feb. 2019 Finally, the artist swan-songed with an eight-pack of piano-banjo-ukulele strummed solos, Mac originals that wistfully pondered all that had come before. Jonathan Takiff, Philly.com, "Taylor Mac: The drag queen who could change your life," 11 June 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for ponder

Middle English, from Middle French ponderer, from Latin ponderare to weigh, ponder, from ponder-, pondus weight — more at pendant

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Statistics for ponder

Last Updated

11 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ponder

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

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More Definitions for ponder



English Language Learners Definition of ponder

: to think about or consider (something) carefully


pon·​der | \ ˈpän-dər How to pronounce ponder (audio) \
pondered; pondering

Kids Definition of ponder

: to think over carefully Stacey pondered the suggestion for a long moment …— Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder

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More from Merriam-Webster on ponder

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ponder

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ponder

Spanish Central: Translation of ponder

Nglish: Translation of ponder for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ponder for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ponder

What made you want to look up ponder? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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