[ roo-muh-neyt ]
See synonyms for: ruminateruminatingruminationruminative on

verb (used without object),ru·mi·nat·ed, ru·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to meditate or muse; ponder.

  2. Psychology. to obsessively revisit the same thought or theme over and over again.

  1. to chew the cud, as a ruminant.

verb (used with object),ru·mi·nat·ed, ru·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to chew again or over and over.

  2. to meditate on; ponder.

Origin of ruminate

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin rūminātus (past participle of rūminārī, rūmināre “to ruminate”), equivalent to rūmin- (stem of rūmen “throat, gullet”; see rumen) + -ātus past participle suffix (see -ate1)

Other words for ruminate

Other words from ruminate

  • ru·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverb
  • ru·mi·na·tion [roo-muh-ney-shuhn] /ˌru məˈneɪ ʃən/ noun
  • ru·mi·na·tive, adjective
  • ru·mi·na·tive·ly, adverb
  • ru·mi·na·tor, noun
  • non·ru·mi·nat·ing, adjective
  • non·ru·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·ru·mi·na·tive, adjective
  • un·ru·mi·nat·ed, adjective
  • un·ru·mi·nat·ing, adjective
  • un·ru·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·ru·mi·na·tive, adjective

Words Nearby ruminate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ruminate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ruminate


/ (ˈruːmɪˌneɪt) /

  1. (of ruminants) to chew (the cud)

  2. (when intr , often foll by upon, on, etc) to meditate or ponder (upon)

Origin of ruminate

C16: from Latin rūmināre to chew the cud, from rumen

Derived forms of ruminate

  • rumination, noun
  • ruminative, adjective
  • ruminatively, adverb
  • ruminator, 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