think·​ing | \ ˈthiŋ-kiŋ How to pronounce thinking (audio) \

Definition of thinking

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action of using one's mind to produce thoughts
2a : opinion, judgment I'd like to know your thinking on this
b : thought that is characteristic (as of a period, group, or person) the current student thinking on fraternities



Definition of thinking (Entry 2 of 2)

: marked by use of the intellect : rational thinking citizens

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Other Words from thinking


thinkingly adverb
thinkingness noun

Examples of thinking in a Sentence

Noun Form your own opinions: don't let others do your thinking for you! I've been doing some thinking about this, and I don't think you're right after all. The school's curriculum encourages independent thinking. A piece of quick thinking got us out of trouble. I'd like to know your thinking on this. What is the current thinking on the subject? Adjective Chess is a thinking man's game. it's surprising to find thinking people who believe such nonsense
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To bring the idea of forward-thinking and problem-solving to the forefront of our current consciousness. David Ellenstein Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 Even for those accustomed to financial uncertainty, the pandemic may have increased the kind of catastrophic thinking that can suffocate your ability to plan and prioritize. New York Times, 4 Sep. 2021 In the later twentieth and early twenty-first century these zones have attracted history-minded winemakers with philosophies that match today’s times — experimental thinking often based on organic or biodynamic farming. Susan H. Gordon, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The Berea City Club donated $100,000 to create a space that allows students to gain hands-on experience with equipment and new technologies, while fostering creativity and critical thinking. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 2 Sep. 2021 This is a neat bit of magical thinking—the rapid collapse of the Afghan government was baked into the cake; preordained in extensive reporting that seems to have fallen by the wayside. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 2 Sep. 2021 So, too, have the Animal House Democrats adopted such thinking: Spend $5 trillion; no one has to pay for it. WSJ, 2 Sep. 2021 This way of thinking promises that there is a skinny person inside of all of us just clawing to get out. Lora Grady, Good Housekeeping, 1 Sep. 2021 Diversity of culture brings new ways of thinking and problem solving. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nibert loved the free-thinking spirit of the village and its college. Keith Bierygolick,, 28 Aug. 2019 Credit Gus Malzahn for being proactive and thinking long-term in choosing his starting quarterback. Creg Stephenson |, al, 22 Aug. 2019 The quick-thinking team administrator came up with a solution – flag down a tour bus. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, 25 June 2018 These are the most vulnerable parts [of the brain] and can be easily damaged, so your libido can run a bit more wild when it’s not being curtailed by the higher thinking part of the brain. Kate Morgan, The Cut, 20 Apr. 2018 Sometimes surgeries require more thinking beforehand. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, 15 Oct. 2017 These moments suggest a thinking failure of his own: a failure to examine the inapt moral equivalences and disguised elitism inherent in his brand of provocation. Jesse Green, New York Times, 10 Aug. 2017 Which is why the response by any thinking Republican, or one even with a modicum of decency, was complete silence. Stephen A. Nuño, NBC News, 2 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thinking.' 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 thinking


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1674, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for thinking

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near thinking

think for oneself


thinking cap

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Statistics for thinking

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thinking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for thinking



English Language Learners Definition of thinking

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the action of using your mind to produce ideas, decisions, memories, etc. : the activity of thinking about something
: opinion or judgment
: a way of thinking that is characteristic of a particular group, time period, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of thinking (Entry 2 of 2)

: able to think intelligently about complicated things

More from Merriam-Webster on thinking

Nglish: Translation of thinking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thinking for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thinking


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