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

After long weeks of watching the show and pondering its dubious joys, only one explanation for Friends’ endurance accounts for both its cultural conservatism and its sparkling, juvenile humor. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Mysteriously Enduring Appeal of Friends," 10 Sep. 2019 What is written, said and pondered outside the six-state footprint impacts (directly or indirectly) what happens inside the footprint whether those inside the footprint like it or not. Jon Wilner, The Denver Post, "Pac-12 coaches under fire: Petersen, Shaw, Kelly face national media scrutiny following bad losses," 10 Sep. 2019 Various poems draw upon the poet walking and pondering. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "New collection brings together Alaska poet John Morgan’s impressive early work," 9 Sep. 2019 Immediately after the news broke, speculation began percolating about who Democratic party leadership would be able to recruit, with many pundits pondering whether this vacancy could convince Stacey Abrams to jump into the ring. Alana Abramson, Time, "Sen. Johnny Isakson Announces Retirement – Leaving 2 Georgia Senate Seats Up for Grabs in 2020," 28 Aug. 2019 This is a great question and one that many people ponder. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, "When Is It Time to Give Up on a Professional Dream?," 6 Aug. 2019 Most of the rest of the movie concerns itself with scenes of Hollywood professionals pondering their craft and eating at Mexican restaurants. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Quentin Tarantino’s Ultimate Statement on Movie Violence," 2 Aug. 2019 Throughout the spring and summer of 1968, George Low, the manager of the Apollo spacecraft program, fretted about the lunar module and pondered scheduling flights in the run-out to the lunar landing. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 2: The 50/50 bet that won the Space Race for America," 17 July 2019 Only time will tell if Brady follows through on the offer, or if Brissett will continue tweeting some of life's most pondered questions. Robby General, Indianapolis Star, "Tom Brady asks Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett to start podcast following a tweet," 11 July 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

10 Oct 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



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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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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