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[thawt-fuh l] /ˈθɔt fəl/
showing consideration for others; considerate.
characterized by or manifesting careful thought:
a thoughtful essay.
occupied with or given to thought; contemplative; meditative; reflective:
in a thoughtful mood.
careful, heedful, or mindful:
to be thoughtful of one's safety.
Origin of thoughtful
Middle English word dating back to 1150-1200; See origin at thought1, -ful
Related forms
thoughtfully, adverb
thoughtfulness, noun
overthoughtful, adjective
overthoughtfully, adverb
overthoughtfulness, noun
unthoughtful, adjective
unthoughtfully, adverb
unthoughtfulness, noun
1. attentive, solicitous. Thoughtful, considerate mean taking thought for the comfort and the good of others. Thoughtful implies providing little attentions, offering services, or in some way looking out for the comfort or welfare of others: It was thoughtful of you to send the flowers. Considerate implies sparing others annoyance or discomfort, and being careful not to hurt their feelings: not considerate of his family. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for thoughtful
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The announcement brought with it a long and thoughtful pause.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • His look was bright and thoughtful and his bearing attractive.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Wanhope waited for a thoughtful moment of censure eventuating in toleration.

  • Especially is this so with thoughtful, sober-minded boys like the young Napoleon.

  • She was standing a little apart from me, her eyes cast down and thoughtful.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
British Dictionary definitions for thoughtful


considerate in the treatment of other people
showing careful thought
pensive; reflective
Derived Forms
thoughtfully, adverb
thoughtfulness, noun
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 thoughtful

c.1200, "contemplative," from thought + -ful. Also in Middle English, "prudent; moody, anxious." Meaning "showing consideration for others" is from 1851 (cf. thoughtless.) Related: Thoughtfully; thoughtfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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