thought 1 of 2


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past tense of think

Synonym Chooser

How does the noun thought contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of thought are conception, concept, idea, impression, and notion. While all these words mean "what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan)," thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining.

commit your thoughts to paper

When might concept be a better fit than thought?

The words concept and thought are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, concept may apply to the idea formed by consideration of instances of a species or genus or, more broadly, to any idea of what a thing ought to be.

a society with no concept of private property

How do conception and concept relate to one another, in the sense of thought?

Conception is often interchangeable with concept; it may stress the process of imagining or formulating rather than the result.

our changing conception of what constitutes art

When is it sensible to use idea instead of thought?

Although the words idea and thought have much in common, idea may apply to a mental image or formulation of something seen or known or imagined, to a pure abstraction, or to something assumed or vaguely sensed.

innovative ideas
my idea of paradise

When would impression be a good substitute for thought?

The synonyms impression and thought are sometimes interchangeable, but impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses.

the first impression is of soaring height

In what contexts can notion take the place of thought?

While in some cases nearly identical to thought, notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental.

you have the oddest notions

Thesaurus Entries Near thought

Cite this Entry

“Thought.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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