[ kon-tuhm-pleyt, -tem- ]
/ ˈkɒn təmˌpleɪt, -tɛm- /

verb (used with object), con·tem·plat·ed, con·tem·plat·ing.

to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully: to contemplate the stars.
to consider thoroughly; think fully or deeply about: to contemplate a difficult problem.
to have as a purpose; intend.
to have in view as a future event: to contemplate buying a new car.

verb (used without object), con·tem·plat·ed, con·tem·plat·ing.

to think studiously; meditate; consider deliberately.

Nearby words

  1. contemn,
  2. contemner,
  3. contemnible,
  4. contemp.,
  5. contemplable,
  6. contemplation,
  7. contemplative,
  8. contemplative order,
  9. contempo,
  10. contemporaneous

Origin of contemplate

1585–95; < Latin contemplātus past participle of contemplāre, contemplārī to survey, observe, equivalent to con- con- + templ(um) space marked off for augural observation, temple1 + -ātus -ate1

SYNONYMS FOR contemplate
1. gaze at, behold, regard, survey. 2. study, ponder. 3. design, plan.

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for contemplator

  • Thine age survives the youth of all; and the Final Day shall find thee still the contemplator of our tombs.

    Zanoni|Edward Bulwer Lytton
  • I am therefore simply a contemplator of the world; the only act which is peculiarly mine is contemplation.

  • When the contemplator of evil deeds begins also to contemplate consequences, reason is beginning to resume her sway.

  • You know the sentiments with which you have inspired the Contemplator of Nature.

British Dictionary definitions for contemplator


/ (ˈkɒntɛmˌpleɪt, -təm-) /

verb (mainly tr)

to think about intently and at length; consider calmly
(intr) to think intently and at length, esp for spiritual reasons; meditate
to look at thoughtfully; observe pensively
to have in mind as a possibilityto contemplate changing jobs
Derived Formscontemplator, noun

Word Origin for contemplate

C16: from Latin contemplāre, from templum temple 1

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 contemplator



1590s, from Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari "survey, observe" (see contemplation). Related: Contemplated; contemplating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper