• synonyms


[kuh n-tem-pluh-tiv, kon-tuh m-pley-, -tem-]
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  1. given to or characterized by contemplation: a contemplative mind.
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  1. a person devoted to contemplation, as a monk.
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Origin of contemplative

1300–50; < Latin contemplātīvus, equivalent to contemplāt(us) (see contemplate) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English contemplatif < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related formscon·tem·pla·tive·ly, adverbcon·tem·pla·tive·ness, nounnon·con·tem·pla·tive, adjectivenon·con·tem·pla·tive·ly, adverbnon·con·tem·pla·tive·ness, nounun·con·tem·pla·tive, adjectiveun·con·tem·pla·tive·ly, adverbun·con·tem·pla·tive·ness, noun


See more synonyms for contemplative on Thesaurus.com
1. thoughtful, reflective, meditative.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for contemplatively

Historical Examples

  • But she only broke off a leaf and nibbled at it contemplatively.

    The Vagrant Duke

    George Gibbs

  • To the picture in question she had been always, in fact, able contemplatively to return.

    The Golden Bowl

    Henry James

  • He looked at her contemplatively; the dark eyes pleased him.

    The Dull Miss Archinard

    Anne Douglas Sedgwick

  • He turned and regarded her contemplatively; and she spoke again.

    The Princess Dehra

    John Reed Scott

  • “Many a man has begun on less,” continued Reid, contemplatively.

British Dictionary definitions for contemplatively


  1. denoting, concerned with, or inclined to contemplation; meditative
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  1. a person dedicated to religious contemplation or to a way of life conducive to this
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Derived Formscontemplatively, adverbcontemplativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for contemplatively



mid-14c., from Old French contemplatif (12c.), from Latin contemplativus, from contemplat-, past participle stem of contemplari (see contemplation).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper