Synonym Chooser

How is the word ponder different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of ponder are meditate, muse, and ruminate. While all these words mean "to consider or examine attentively or deliberately," ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter.

pondered the course of action

In what contexts can meditate take the place of ponder?

While the synonyms meditate and ponder are close in meaning, meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply.

meditated on the meaning of life

When would muse be a good substitute for ponder?

The synonyms muse and ponder are sometimes interchangeable, but muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance.

mused upon childhood joys

When is it sensible to use ruminate instead of ponder?

The words ruminate and ponder are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ruminate implies going over the same matter in one's thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption.

ruminated on past disappointments

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Cite this Entry

“Ponder.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ponder. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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