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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ruminative
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Stobell, whose habit was taciturn and ruminative, fixed his dull brown eyes on the ground and thought it over.

  • She gazed steadily at the glowing coals, ruminative, reflective.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener Leslie Moore
  • Her voice became half-absent-minded, ruminative, as though she were thinking aloud.

    Winner Take All Larry Evans
  • Yet it was not exactly a stare; it was too thoughtful, too ruminative, too unconscious for that.

    Tristram of Blent Anthony Hope
  • You and Dick sit hunched on a log, blissfully happy in the moments of digestion, ruminative, watching the blaze.

    The Forest Stewart Edward White
  • He paused for a while, then went on with ruminative authority.

    Ripeness is All Jesse Roarke
  • She glanced at his round, innocuous face, with the downy mustache and ruminative eyes, and smiled irrepressibly.

    The Fifth Ace Douglas Grant
  • Hers had been a ruminative existence, for its uncertainty but rarely disturbed her.

    The Benefactress Elizabeth Beauchamp
  • The hero is now seen seated in a Morris chair in Washington, touching his finger-tips together in a ruminative manner.

    Of All Things Robert C. Benchley
British Dictionary definitions for ruminative


(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 ruminative



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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