[ roo-muh-neyt ]
/ 藞ru m蓹藢ne瑟t /
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See synonyms for: ruminate / ruminating / rumination / ruminative on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object), ru路mi路nat路ed, ru路mi路nat路ing.
to chew the cud, as a ruminant.
to meditate or muse; ponder.
verb (used with object), ru路mi路nat路ed, ru路mi路nat路ing.
to chew again or over and over.
to meditate on; ponder.
Should you take this quiz on 鈥渟hall鈥 versus 鈥渟hould鈥? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is commonly used with other verbs to express intention?

Origin of ruminate

First recorded in 1525鈥35; from Latin r奴min膩tus (past participle of r奴min膩r墨, r奴min膩re 鈥渢o ruminate鈥), equivalent to r奴min- (stem of r奴men 鈥渢hroat, gullet鈥; see rumen) + -膩tus past participle suffix (see -ate1)


Words nearby ruminate

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽ruminate mean?

To ruminate is to carefully think something over, ponder it, or meditate on it.

It can also mean to chew over and over again, as is done by ruminant animals, like cows.

In psychology, the term means to obsessively repeat thoughts or excessively think about problems.

In all cases, the process of ruminating is called rumination.

Example: After ruminating about it for months, I have decided to pursue a new career.

Where does聽ruminate come from?

The first records of ruminate come from the 1500s. It derives from the Latin verb r奴min膩re, meaning 鈥渢o chew the cud.鈥 R奴min膩re comes from the Latin r奴men, which gives us the English rumen鈥攖he first of four compartments in the stomach of ruminant animals. Such animals, like cows, eat grass, swallow it, and then regurgitate it and chew it some more. When the food is regurgitated to be chewed again, it鈥檚 called cud.

You can see how this process of chewing and rechewing can be used figuratively: when you ruminate on something, you think it over. In fact, the idioms chew it over and chew the cud both refer to contemplating something for a while. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Ruminating over a problem might give you a good perspective on it. But sometimes you might not be able to stop ruminating. Psychologists use the word to refer to obsessively repeating a particular thought or continuing to think about something, especially a problem, over and over instead of finding a solution or moving on.

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How is聽ruminate used in real life?

Ruminate can be used in both positive and negative ways: it can refer to thoroughly thinking something over, or to overthinking it.



Try using聽ruminate!

Is ruminate used correctly in the following sentence?聽

My insomnia gets worse when I ruminate about all the mistakes I鈥檝e ever made.

How to use ruminate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ruminate

/ (藞ru藧m瑟藢ne瑟t) /

(of ruminants) to chew (the cud)
(when intr , often foll by upon, on, etc) to meditate or ponder (upon)

Derived forms of ruminate

rumination, nounruminative, adjectiveruminatively, adverbruminator, noun

Word Origin for ruminate

C16: from Latin r奴min膩re to chew the cud, from rumen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012