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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Those guys have a certain duality to their thinking. Matt Wake |, al, "Alabama producer talks J. Cole hit, work with Whitney, Tarantino, Erykah Badu," 1 July 2020 Its mission was to expose how artists contribute to society and how art can expand thinking. Nickole Kerner Bobley, Houston Chronicle, "Artfeel: Man’s alter ego revealed in elaborate art rocks," 27 June 2020 The success of Danish schools moving away from traditional indoor education amid coronavirus fears has some school leaders in Washington, D.C. thinking of offering a similar alternative this fall. Fox News, "DC schools asked to consider outdoor classrooms in wake of coronavirus following success in Denmark," 23 June 2020 This is especially true for younger children, who are egocentric and prone to magical thinking. Kate Julian, The Atlantic, "The Best Way to Parent in a Crisis Is to Tell the Truth," 23 June 2020 After months away from in-person classes, JCPS said each adventure is designed to keep students' math, reading and critical thinking skills sharp. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS' new summer school program offers virtual adventures, big-ticket prizes," 22 June 2020 Possibility thinking is challenging me to try new things, like leaving my neighborhood for the first time during the pandemic to grab an ice cream. Dallas News, "How you can supercharge your brain from the comfort of your home," 19 June 2020 For a case study, here’s how HSBC used design thinking to develop its Venmo-like app, PayMe, in Hong Kong. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "“You are never stuck”: How to find job satisfaction in an age of upheaval," 16 June 2020 People familiar with the thinking of Chinese generals assert, approvingly, that Mr Trump dislikes military adventures abroad. The Economist, "Chaguan Elites in Beijing see America in decline, hastened by Trump," 11 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Nibert loved the free-thinking spirit of the village and its college. Keith Bierygolick,, "Save the lambs: ‘Most hated man in Yellow Springs’ fights to keep Ohio college from killing animals," 28 Aug. 2019 Credit Gus Malzahn for being proactive and thinking long-term in choosing his starting quarterback. Creg Stephenson |, al, " All-Access: Does Bo Nix change Auburn’s outlook for 2019?," 22 Aug. 2019 The quick-thinking team administrator came up with a solution – flag down a tour bus. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "San Diego Padres forced to take San Francisco tour bus to game," 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, "A Head Injury Really Could Alter Your Self-Perception," 20 Apr. 2018 Sometimes surgeries require more thinking beforehand. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Why do some doctors refuse to give women IUDs?," 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, "Review: Michael Moore, Bragging on Broadway, in ‘The Terms of My Surrender’," 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, "Opinion: Trump Wrecks Our Environment and Latinos Will Be Cleaning Up the Mess," 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.

See More

First Known Use of thinking


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1674, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thinking

Time Traveler for thinking

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for thinking

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thinking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thinking


How to pronounce thinking (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on thinking

What made you want to look up thinking? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!