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See more synonyms for ruminate on Thesaurus.com
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


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for ruminative

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Thorpe had concluded his philosophical remarks with ruminative slowness.

    The Market-Place

    Harold Frederic

  • Yet it was not exactly a stare; it was too thoughtful, too ruminative, too unconscious for that.

    Tristram of Blent

    Anthony Hope

  • She gazed steadily at the glowing coals, ruminative, reflective.

  • He paused for a while, then went on with ruminative authority.

    Ripeness is All

    Jesse Roarke

  • Hers had been a ruminative existence, for its uncertainty but rarely disturbed her.

    The Benefactress

    Elizabeth Beauchamp

British Dictionary definitions for ruminative


  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 ruminative



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