pensive

[ pen-siv ]
/ ˈpɛn sɪv /

adjective

dreamily or wistfully thoughtful: a pensive mood.
expressing or revealing thoughtfulness, usually marked by some sadness: a pensive adagio.

Origin of pensive

1325–75; < French (feminine); replacing Middle English pensif < Middle French (masculine), derivative of penser to think < Latin pēnsāre to weigh, consider, derivative of pēnsus, past participle of pendere. See pension, -ive

Related forms

Synonym study

1. Pensive , meditative , reflective suggest quiet modes of apparent or real thought. Pensive , the weakest of the three, suggests dreaminess or wistfulness, and may involve little or no thought to any purpose: a pensive, faraway look. Meditative involves thinking of certain facts or phenomena, perhaps in the religious sense of “contemplation,” without necessarily having a goal of complete understanding or of action: meditative but unjudicial. Reflective has a strong implication of orderly, perhaps analytic, processes of thought, usually with a definite goal of understanding: a careful and reflective critic.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pensive

British Dictionary definitions for pensive

pensive

/ (ˈpɛnsɪv) /

adjective

deeply or seriously thoughtful, often with a tinge of sadness
expressing or suggesting pensiveness

Derived Forms

pensively, adverbpensiveness, noun

Word Origin for pensive

C14: from Old French pensif, from penser to think, from Latin pensāre to consider; compare pension 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