ponder

verb
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

Kramer and Hymanson preserve crispy vegetables and fruit by either inviting microbial guests to revel in salty brine or leaving produce to ponder preservation alone, drowned in seasoned vinegar. Ali Bouzari, SFChronicle.com, "Housemade: The science behind a feast of flavor pairings at Kismet in Los Angeles," 12 July 2019 The Farewell uses these sorts of traditions to ponder what makes us human, what shapes our sense of morality, and the ways those codes can vary even within an immediate family. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Farewell Is a Gorgeous Tale of Family and Mortality," 10 July 2019 Once again real life competes with satire and causes us to ponder more deeply the complaining neighbors. John O'sullivan, National Review, "Can Anyone Beat Boris?," 9 July 2019 In equal measure, however, their inability to play out from the back was cause for concern as Japan failed to capitalise on a handful of defensive errors, leaving Neville with plenty to ponder before the knockout stages. SI.com, "Japan 0-2 England: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Ellen White Secures Top Spot for Lionesses," 19 June 2019 Another work in the same show, by Lidzie Alvisa, also presents a strange constellation, this time in order to ponder the fearsome two-dimensionality of celebrity. Esther Allen, The New York Review of Books, "The Art of the Possible at Havana’s Bienal," 15 June 2019 Forcing viewers to ponder uncomfortably disturbing truths is what Black Mirror does at its best. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Black Mirror is back for S5, but it might be running out of fresh ideas," 10 June 2019 Hawking and Hartle were thus led to ponder the possibility that the universe began as pure space, rather than dynamical space-time. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning," 6 June 2019 Much of what's expected next year also will be high-end, leaving Seiwert and others to ponder Downtown's affordability. Alexandria Burris, Indianapolis Star, "More luxury apartments drive up Downtown Indianapolis vacancy rate, but rents remain steep," 6 June 2019

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

18 Jul 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

ponder

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ponder

: to think about or consider (something) carefully

ponder

verb
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

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