verb pon·der \ ˈpän-dər \
Updated on: 15 Feb 2018

Definition of ponder

pondered; pondering play \ˈpän-d(ə-)riŋ\
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


play \ˈpän-dər-ər\ noun

Examples of ponder in a Sentence

  1. He pondered the question before he answered.

  2. The team pondered their chances of success.

  3. We pondered whether we could afford the trip.

Recent Examples of ponder from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of ponder

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

ponder Synonyms

chew over, cogitate, consider, contemplate, debate, deliberate, entertain, eye, kick around, meditate, mull (over), perpend, pore (over), question, revolve, ruminate, study, think (about or over), turn, weigh, wrestle (with), beat one's brains out (about), chew on, cudgel one's brains (about), look at
Related Words
muse (upon), reflect (on or upon), reminisce; analyze, explore, review; conclude, reason; second-guess, speculate (about); brood (about or over), dwell (on or upon), fixate (on or upon), fret (about or over), obsess (about or over); believe, conceive, opine; absorb, assimilate, digest, drink (in)
Near Antonyms
disregard, ignore, overlook, slight; dismiss, pooh-pooh (also pooh), reject

Synonym Discussion of 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

PONDER Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of ponder for English Language Learners

  • : to think about or consider (something) carefully

PONDER Defined for Kids


verb pon·der \ ˈpän-dər \

Definition of ponder for Students

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

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


a eulogistic oration or writing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a-citrus-fruit-possibly-named-after-a-person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!