thought

1 of 2

noun

1
: something that is thought: such as
a
: an individual act or product of thinking
b
: a developed intention or plan
had no thought of leaving home
c
: something (such as an opinion or belief) in the mind
he spoke his thoughts freely
d
: the intellectual product or the organized views and principles of a period, place, group, or individual
contemporary Western thought
2
a
: the action or process of thinking : cogitation
b
: serious consideration : regard
c
3
a
: reasoning power
b
: the power to imagine : conception

thought

2 of 2

past tense and past participle of think

Phrases
a thought
: a little : somewhat
a thought too much vinegar in the dressing
Choose the Right Synonym for thought

idea, concept, conception, thought, notion, impression mean what exists in the mind as a representation (as of something comprehended) or as a formulation (as of a plan).

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

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

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

thought is likely to suggest the result of reflecting, reasoning, or meditating rather than of imagining.

commit your thoughts to paper

notion suggests an idea not much resolved by analysis or reflection and may suggest the capricious or accidental.

you have the oddest notions

impression applies to an idea or notion resulting immediately from some stimulation of the senses.

the first impression is of soaring height

Examples of thought in a Sentence

Noun He could easily have held the audience for a one-hour answer that ranged from his thoughts on jazz to his soap-opera career playing gangsters … Calvin Trillin, Nation, 28 May 2007
thoughts expressed while sitting alone at the keyboard would be put more diplomatically—or go unmentioned—face to face. Daniel Goleman, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2007
Yes, well don't forget, sir, we're viewing this with twenty-twenty hindsight, but at the time no one gave a thought to geckos or what they ate—they were just another fact of life in the tropics. T. Coraghessan Boyle, Harper's, April 1993
My first thought was that something must have changed. The thought of leaving never crossed my mind. Do you have any thoughts about the subject? She abandoned all thoughts of going home. It was just a thought. She was lost in thought. She abandoned all thought of going home. They should have put more thought into the proposal. While you're enjoying the holidays, you should spare a thought for those who are less fortunate. He has no thought for anyone but himself.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
One school of thought argues that this latest manifestation of Russian expansionist desires must be fiercely opposed. Richard Babcock, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2024 The idea and ultimate goal of the software is to grant people with paralysis the ability to control a computer cursor or keyboard by thought alone. Amaris Encinas, USA TODAY, 11 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for thought 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thought.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Old English thōht; akin to Old English thencan to think — more at think

First Known Use

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of thought was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near thought

Cite this Entry

“Thought.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thought. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

thought

1 of 2

past and past participle of think

thought

2 of 2 noun
1
: the act or process of thinking
2
: serious consideration : careful attention
give thought to the future
3
: power of thinking and especially of reasoning and judging
4
: power of imagining
beauty beyond thought
5
: a product of thinking (as an idea, fancy, or invention)
share your thoughts with us

Medical Definition

thought

noun
1
a
: the action or process of thinking
b
: serious consideration
2
a
: reasoning power
b
: the power to imagine : conception
3
: something that is thought: as
a
: an individual act or product of thinking
b
: a developed intention or plan
he had no thought of leaving home
c
: something (as an opinion or belief) in the mind
she spoke her thoughts freely
d
: the intellectual product or the organized views and principles of a period, place, group, or individual

More from Merriam-Webster on thought

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