thought·​ful | \ ˈthȯt-fəl \

Definition of thoughtful

1a : absorbed in thought : meditative
b : characterized by careful reasoned thinking a thoughtful essay
2a : having thoughts : heedful became thoughtful about religion
b : given to or chosen or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and wants of others a kind and thoughtful friend

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Other Words from thoughtful

thoughtfully \ ˈthȯt-​fə-​lē \ adverb
thoughtfulness noun

Examples of thoughtful in a Sentence

She looked at me with a thoughtful expression. He looked thoughtful for a moment. Her husband is always thoughtful. That's very thoughtful of you.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Think: more capital-F fashion theatrics from Charles Jeffrey Loverboy; thoughtful and sculptural clothes from Craig Green; and exciting shows from newcomers like Art School and Bethany Williams. Gianluca Senese, Vogue, "The Best Street Style Photos From London’s Fall 2019 Menswear Shows," 5 Jan. 2019 The fight ahead of us will be thoughtful and creative because women of color are problem solvers and have a razor focus on the issues that matter. Rebecca Nelson, Marie Claire, "2019's Barrier-Breaking Politicians Get to Work," 3 Jan. 2019 In other words, a goal, if thoughtful and well structured, can give you the extra incentive to keep going when motivation wanes, or when life otherwise gets in the way. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How to Set Realistic Fitness Goals You’ll Actually Achieve, According to Top Trainers," 3 Jan. 2019 Margaret Love, who served as pardon attorney when Mr. Barr was attorney general, recalled his approach to pardons as thoughtful and deliberate. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Barr’s Push for Iran-Contra Pardons Likely to Emerge in Confirmation Hearing," 28 Dec. 2018 In Shevek, Le Guin creates a thoughtful, imperfect, and inquisitive guide to the two worlds and their textured citizens. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 If the federal regulation is the least bit thoughtful, none of that needs to happen. WSJ, "Protecting U.S. State-Regulated Insurance," 10 Dec. 2018 The truth is, Armstrong was a quiet, thoughtful, and brave engineer. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "First Man is a first-rate movie about America’s most revered astronaut," 12 Oct. 2018 Striped pillows mingle with nubby throw blankets and linen sheets for the ultimate winter bed, while unexpected details like tassels and fringed edges give each element a thoughtful, finished look. Jennifer Fernandez, House Beautiful, "A Joanna Gaines Bedding Line Is Coming To Target The Day After Christmas," 22 Dec. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for thoughtful

The first known use of thoughtful was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for thoughtful



English Language Learners Definition of thoughtful

: serious and quiet because you are thinking

: done or made after careful thinking

: showing concern for the needs or feelings of other people


thought·​ful | \ ˈthȯt-fəl \

Kids Definition of thoughtful

1 : considerate of others
2 : deep in thought
3 : showing careful thinking a thoughtful essay

Other Words from thoughtful

thoughtfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
thoughtfulness noun

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