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 That’s the thinking going into earnings season, which kicks off in earnest with a bevy of bank results later today. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "It’s crypto bulls versus Wall Street as Coinbase shares get set to trade," 14 Apr. 2021 Surely, the thinking went, the board would replace Rodemaker with a Black man. New York Times, "Trouble in Titletown," 12 Apr. 2021 Liberals, the thinking goes, are too obsessed with wokeness and political correctness; the mob has made comedians afraid to do comedy that’s actually funny. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Gutfeld! the Worst Show on Television?," 8 Apr. 2021 The thinking on corporate taxes began to change in the 1960s. Stephanie Leiser, The Conversation, "Biden wants corporations to pay for his $2 trillion infrastructure plans, echoing a history of calls for companies to chip in when times are tough," 2 Apr. 2021 That’s the thinking behind a new collaboration between the British marque and high-end luggage maker Tumi. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "McLaren Joins Forces With Tumi for a New Line of Supercar-Inspired Luggage," 31 Mar. 2021 Kaprelian’s thinking is simple: If label employees are entitled to many of these services, why aren’t artists? Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Nvak Collective Label Gives Artists Healthcare, Master Ownership: 'There's No Excuse'," 31 Mar. 2021 Basketball writer Chris Hine joins the Daily Delivery to explain the thinking. Star Tribune, "Put Anthony Edwards, not D'Angelo Russell, in the role of sidekick for Karl-Anthony Towns," 26 Mar. 2021 The thinking, according to these people, was to preserve the long-term possibility of working with GOP senators on legislation and deliver on Biden’s campaign promise of cooling the hot-tempered partisanship in Washington. Jennifer Haberkorn, Los Angeles Times, "White House applies light touch to courting GOP votes on Cabinet positions," 18 Mar. 2021 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.

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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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Statistics for thinking

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thinking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 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

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