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[pon-der] /ˈpɒn dər/
verb (used without object)
to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate (often followed by over or upon).
verb (used with object)
to weigh carefully in the mind; consider thoughtfully:
He pondered his next words thoroughly.
Origin of ponder
1300-50; Middle English pondren < Middle French ponderer < Latin ponderāre to ponder, weigh; akin to pendēre to be suspended, hang (see pend)
Related forms
ponderer, noun
reponder, verb (used without object)
unpondered, adjective
well-pondered, adjective
1. reflect, cogitate, deliberate, ruminate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pondering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Rode around the old familiar spots, viewing and pondering and dwelling long upon them, every-thing coming back to me.

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
  • He sat on for long, through the September evening, pondering, wrestling.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Oswald asks many questions as to matters that have puzzled his mind while pondering over this tangled web.

    Oswald Langdon Carson Jay Lee
  • "Aunt Elkins might think she could make a home with us," said the cap'n, pondering.

    Country Neighbors Alice Brown
  • pondering what lie I could tell him, and how, an irresistible impulse seized me.

    Six to Sixteen Juliana Horatia Ewing
British Dictionary definitions for pondering


when intr, sometimes foll by on or over. to give thorough or deep consideration (to); meditate (upon)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ponderer, from Latin ponderāre to weigh, consider, from pondus weight; related to pendere to weigh
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 pondering



early 14c., "to estimate the worth of, to appraise," from Old French ponderer "to weigh, poise" (14c., Modern French pondérer) and directly from Latin ponderare "ponder, consider, reflect," literally "to weigh," from pondus (genitive ponderis) "weigh" (see pound (n.1)). Meaning "to weigh a matter mentally" is attested from late 14c. Related: Pondered; pondering; ponderation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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