Thesaurus

contemplate

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of contemplate

2 to have in mind as a purpose or goal
  • he waited patiently, contemplating revenge all the while

Synonyms for contemplate

Words Related to contemplate

Phrases Synonymous with contemplate

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About contemplate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about contemplate

Time Traveler for contemplate

Time Traveler

The first known use of contemplate was circa 1533

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Contemplate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/contemplate. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on contemplate

Dictionary: Definition of contemplate

Nglish: Translation of contemplate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of contemplate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on contemplate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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