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[roo-muh-neyt] /ˈru məˌneɪt/
verb (used without object), ruminated, ruminating.
to chew the cud, as a ruminant.
to meditate or muse; ponder.
verb (used with object), ruminated, ruminating.
to chew again or over and over.
to meditate on; ponder.
Origin of ruminate
1525-35; < Latin rūminātus (past participle of rūminārī, rūmināre to ruminate), equivalent to rūmin- (stem of rūmen rumen) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
ruminatingly, adverb
rumination, noun
ruminative, adjective
ruminatively, adverb
ruminator, noun
nonruminating, adjective
nonruminatingly, adverb
nonrumination, noun
nonruminative, adjective
unruminated, adjective
unruminating, adjective
unruminatingly, adverb
unruminative, adjective
2. think, reflect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ruminate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he sought the friendly shelter of the weeds, and sat still to ruminate.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Douglas English
  • His last days, moreover, had been too crowded for him to ruminate over their taste.

  • So he breathed not a word, and continued to ruminate upon his vengeance.

    Brazilian Tales Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
  • He seemed to ruminate on this thought as if it gave him special cause for reflection.

    A Man to His Mate J. Allan Dunn
  • And, much disconcerted, he walked to the parlour, to ruminate upon some other measure.

    Camilla Fanny Burney
  • All one can do is to lay down the pen and ruminate, and cry 'Beautiful!'

    On an Irish Jaunting-car Samuel G. Bayne
  • The Grand Duke and myself were left to ruminate on what we had heard.

    Memoirs of the Empress Catherine II. Catherine II, Empress of Russia
  • And is it not a pleasant work in old age to ruminate upon them?

British Dictionary definitions for ruminate


(of ruminants) to chew (the cud)
when intr, often foll by upon, on, etc. to meditate or ponder (upon)
Derived Forms
rumination, noun
ruminative, adjective
ruminatively, adverb
ruminator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin rūmināre to chew the cud, from rumen
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 ruminate

1530s, "to turn over in the mind," also "to chew cud" (1540s), from Latin ruminatus, past participle of ruminare "to chew the cud; turn over in the mind," from rumen (genitive ruminis) "gullet," of uncertain origin. Related: Ruminated; ruminating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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