pon·​der | \ ˈpän-dər How to pronounce ponder (audio) \
pondered; pondering\ ˈpän-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce ponder (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 ponder (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 Other credit cards similar to the Delta Reserve card For those seriously considering the Delta SkyMiles Reserve, there’s one other top-tier travel card to ponder: The Platinum Card® from American Express. Darren Murph, CNN Underscored, "A credit card for elite Delta flyers: The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express," 24 Mar. 2021 There are 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament, so here are 68 thoughts, ramblings, and things to ponder ahead of the First Four kicking things off on Thursday night in Indianapolis. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Josh Newman: 68 thoughts, ramblings and things to ponder as the NCAA Tournament arrives," 17 Mar. 2021 Brees had ample time to ponder his future after the last three seasons, which all ended with a playoff defeat at the Superdome. New York Times, "Drew Brees Retires, His Focus on the Details Until the End," 14 Mar. 2021 For Osaka, the nearly five-month shutdown of the women’s tennis circuit due to the coronavirus meant plenty of time to ponder racial injustice while keeping her strokes sharp. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "20 for 2020: Sports figures who defined courageous and kind, selfish and stubborn," 28 Dec. 2020 A year ago, Connor Heyward and Drew Beesley went home to wait and ponder what might come next. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Mel Tucker finally hosts first Michigan State football spring practice; 'a different vibe'," 24 Mar. 2021 Here are some questions parents should ponder before signing their children up. Washington Post, "Instagram is making a kids’ app. Here’s what parents need to know about social media Jr.," 24 Mar. 2021 Here are some questions parents should ponder before signing their children up. Heather Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Instagram is making an app for preteens. Here’s what parents need to know about social media Jr.," 24 Mar. 2021 Here are five things to watch for, ponder and consider as the Utes get ready to dive into spring. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah football spring practice starts Monday. Here are five things we’re paying attention to," 14 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for ponder

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ponder

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ponder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ponder. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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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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