[af-ter-thawt, ahf-]


a later or second thought; reconsideration.
reflection after an act; an appropriate explanation, answer, expedient, or the like, conceived of too late for the occasion.
something added, as a part or feature, that was not included in the original plan or design: The vestry was added to the church as an afterthought.

Origin of afterthought

First recorded in 1655–65; after + thought1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for afterthought

review, reconsideration

Examples from the Web for afterthought

Contemporary Examples of afterthought

Historical Examples of afterthought

  • I claim it as the price of coming, you know, when I was only an afterthought.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Then he added as an afterthought: “To hell with Fyles, and all his damned red-coats.”

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • He hesitated, then added as an afterthought: “I go away to-morrow.”

  • I mentioned, as an afterthought, that Mr. Heathcroft had recommended Bancroft's to me.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • As an afterthought, he added: "And take this fellow with you."

    Captain Blood

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for afterthought



a comment, reply, etc, that occurs to one after the opportunity to deliver it has passed
an addition to something already completed
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

Word Origin and History for afterthought

1660s, from after + thought.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper