• synonyms


verb (used without object), ru·mi·nat·ed, ru·mi·nat·ing.
  1. to chew the cud, as a ruminant.
  2. to meditate or muse; ponder.
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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.
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Origin of ruminate

1525–35; < Latin rūminātus (past participle of rūminārī, rūmināre to ruminate), equivalent to rūmin- (stem of rūmen rumen) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsru·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverbru·mi·na·tion, nounru·mi·na·tive, adjectiveru·mi·na·tive·ly, adverbru·mi·na·tor, nounnon·ru·mi·nat·ing, adjectivenon·ru·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverbnon·ru·mi·na·tion, nounnon·ru·mi·na·tive, adjectiveun·ru·mi·nat·ed, adjectiveun·ru·mi·nat·ing, adjectiveun·ru·mi·nat·ing·ly, adverbun·ru·mi·na·tive, adjective


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ruminations

Historical Examples

  • I was suddenly aroused from my ruminations by a light tap on the shoulder.

    Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 6 June 1848


  • Judge Thayer left him to his ruminations, apparently knowing his habits.

    Trail's End

    George W. Ogden

  • These ruminations were cut short in a manner that was violent, not to say alarming.

    The Sign of the Spider

    Bertram Mitford

  • How do they vary the monotony of their ruminations from one to two, and from two to three, and so on?

  • And Sir Jekyl drank a glass of claret, and returned to his ruminations.

    Guy Deverell, v. 2 of 2

    Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

British Dictionary definitions for ruminations


  1. (of ruminants) to chew (the cud)
  2. (when intr , often foll by upon, on, etc) to meditate or ponder (upon)
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Derived Formsrumination, nounruminative, adjectiveruminatively, adverbruminator, noun

Word Origin

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



1530s, "to turn over in the mind," also "to chew cud" (1540s), from Latin ruminatus, past participle of ruminare "to chew the cud; turn over in the mind," from rumen (genitive ruminis) "gullet," of uncertain origin. Related: Ruminated; ruminating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper