pon·der | \ ˈpän-dər \
pondered; pondering\ˈpän-d(ə-)riŋ \

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 \ 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

Good stress can help motivate you to act rather than continuing to ponder your next move. Kimberly Thompson, Houston Chronicle, "Career Rescue: Take steps to handle job-search stress," 1 July 2018 In the meantime, the voting public in Ohio and in the House Republican Conference may wish to ponder other events that occurred in the years after Mr. Jordan went to work at Ohio State. James Freeman, WSJ, "Jim Jordan and Ohio State," 10 July 2018 The streetcar cost overrun comes as Mayor Jenny Durkan continues to ponder whether or not to expand the streetcar system. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle streetcar needs extra $500,000 to cover last year’s costs," 6 July 2018 Digiday reports that Amazon has invited ad executives to ponder the prospect. NBC News, "Jeff Bezos and Amazon have the advertising industry looking over its shoulder," 5 July 2018 Add in the fact that Philadelphia is known to be pondering a way of landing Kawhi Leonard from San Antonio via trade, and this could wind up being the super team of James’ dreams. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "76ers, Lakers and incumbent Cavs still chasing LeBron James as free agency opens up," 1 July 2018 Gardenhire was left to ponder why Jimenez and Greene couldn’t get the job done. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers 'kicked in the gut' in 5-4 loss, their sixth straight," 25 June 2018 Divorce gives Cusk a foundation to ponder questions of freedom, the constitution of the self in society, and the necessary illusions of narrative. Jordan Larson, The Cut, "Rachel Cusk’s Rules for Living," 25 June 2018 The Padres’ recent success has caused many, including the team, to ponder what happens if the winning continues into July. Kevin Acee, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Padres mailbag: roster crunch; buyers or sellers; Paddack, Allen, Urias promotions," 8 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

29 Aug 2018

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 \
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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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).


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