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 In these essays celebrating San Francisco’s enduring beauty and fluid nature, notable Bay Area writers ponder recent changes that have driven many people to flee. New York Times, 18 May 2021 Each time regulations and guidance change, the public takes time to ponder them and decide whether, and how much, to alter their precautions. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 May 2021 The reports of the Royal Horse Artillery's minute gun striking the clock as the procession winds down to St. George's will give the procession and each of us, a sterling opportunity to ponder the import of that. Guy Martin, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2021 The program also includes trivia questions for patrons to ponder and covers Sox history from the Royal Rooters, who launched Red Sox Nation, all the way to the four World Series championships and beyond. courant.com, 9 Apr. 2021 Germano and Nicholls’s gently polemical, deeply romantic book regards the syllabus, and the work that goes into constructing one, as an opportunity to ponder the possibilities and pathways of the classroom. Hua Hsu, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2020 Thomas has also frequently written alone, provocatively planting more seeds for his colleagues to ponder. Ariane De Vogue, CNN, 20 May 2021 My goal with the daywear has always been to ponder what fashion today actually is: something to be used on a daily basis, an attitude toward life, more than just a single moment of attention for an event or occasion. Bridget Foley, Town & Country, 15 May 2021 As the designer himself pauses to ponder that, Joe slips away. Whitney Friedlander, Vulture, 14 May 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

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ponder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ponder. Accessed 12 Jun. 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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