Synonym Chooser

How does the verb contemplate differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of contemplate are consider, study, and weigh. While all these words mean "to think about in order to arrive at a judgment or decision," contemplate stresses focusing one's thoughts on something but does not imply coming to a conclusion or decision.

contemplate the consequences of refusing

When would consider be a good substitute for contemplate?

The words consider and contemplate are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, consider may suggest giving thought to in order to reach a suitable conclusion, opinion, or decision.

refused even to consider my proposal

When might study be a better fit than contemplate?

While in some cases nearly identical to contemplate, study implies sustained purposeful concentration and attention to details and minutiae.

study the plan closely

When is it sensible to use weigh instead of contemplate?

The words weigh and contemplate can be used in similar contexts, but weigh implies attempting to reach the truth or arrive at a decision by balancing conflicting claims or evidence.

weigh the pros and cons of the case

Thesaurus Entries Near contemplate

Cite this Entry

“Contemplate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on contemplate

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