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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pondering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had been pondering over this proposal when Martin interrupted her.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • He broke a roll and munched it gloomily, pondering this revelation.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • But I could see that he was not listening only: he was pondering and reasoning upon what I told him.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • He kept his face downwards and aside, as if he were pondering and coming to no conclusion.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • He rode on down the track, pondering upon all that must have occurred to him.

    The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum
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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