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[af-ter-thawt, ahf-] /ˈæf tərˌθɔt, ˈɑf-/
a later or second thought; reconsideration.
reflection after an act; an appropriate explanation, answer, expedient, or the like, conceived of too late for the occasion.
something added, as a part or feature, that was not included in the original plan or design:
The vestry was added to the church as an afterthought.
Origin of afterthought
First recorded in 1655-65; after + thought1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for afterthought
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I claim it as the price of coming, you know, when I was only an afterthought.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Then he added as an afterthought: “To hell with Fyles, and all his damned red-coats.”

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
  • He hesitated, then added as an afterthought: “I go away to-morrow.”

  • I mentioned, as an afterthought, that Mr. Heathcroft had recommended Bancroft's to me.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • As an afterthought, he added: "And take this fellow with you."

    Captain Blood Rafael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for afterthought


a comment, reply, etc, that occurs to one after the opportunity to deliver it has passed
an addition to something already completed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for afterthought

1660s, from after + thought.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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