Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of ruminate are meditate, muse, and ponder. While all these words mean "to consider or examine attentively or deliberately," 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

When is it sensible to use meditate instead of ruminate?

While in some cases nearly identical to ruminate, meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply.

meditated on the meaning of life

When might muse be a better fit than ruminate?

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

mused upon childhood joys

When is ponder a more appropriate choice than ruminate?

Although the words ponder and ruminate have much in common, ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter.

pondered the course of action

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Cite this Entry

“Ruminate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ruminate. Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

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