See more synonyms for think on
verb (used without object), thought, think·ing.
  1. to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.
  2. to employ one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation: Think carefully before you begin.
  3. to have a certain thing as the subject of one's thoughts: I was thinking about you. We could think of nothing else.
  4. to call something to one's conscious mind: I couldn't think of his phone number.
  5. to consider something as a possible action, choice, etc.: She thought about cutting her hair.
  6. to invent or conceive of something: We thought of a new plan.
  7. to have consideration or regard for someone: Think of others first.
  8. to esteem a person or thing as indicated: to think badly of someone.
  9. to have a belief or opinion as indicated: I think so.
  10. (of a device or machine, especially a computer) to use artificial intelligence to perform an activity analogous to human thought.
verb (used with object), thought, think·ing.
  1. to have or form in the mind as an idea, conception, etc.
  2. to have or form in the mind in order to understand, know, or remember something else: Romantic comedy is all about chemistry: think Tracy and Hepburn. Can't guess? Here's a hint: think 19th century.
  3. to consider for evaluation or for possible action upon: Think the deal over.
  4. to regard as specified: He thought me unkind.
  5. to believe to be true of someone or something: to think evil of the neighbors.
  6. to analyze or evolve rationally: to think the problem out.
  7. to have as a plan or intention: I thought that I would go.
  8. to anticipate or expect: I did not think to find you here.
  1. of or relating to thinking or thought.
  2. Informal. stimulating or challenging to the intellect or mind: the think book of the year.Compare think piece.
  1. Informal. the act or a period of thinking: I want to sit down and give it a good think.
Verb Phrases
  1. think of,
    1. to conceive of; imagine.
    2. to have an opinion or judgment of.
    3. to consider; anticipate: When one thinks of what the future may bring, one is both worried and hopeful.
  2. think out/through,
    1. to think about until a conclusion is reached; understand or solve by thinking.
    2. to devise by thinking; contrive: He thought out a plan for saving time.
  3. think up, to devise or contrive by thinking: Can you think up an arrangement of furniture for this room?
  1. think better of, to change one's mind about; reconsider: She considered emigrating to Australia, but thought better of it.
  2. think fit, to consider advisable or appropriate: By all means, take a vacation if you think fit.
  3. think nothing of. nothing(def 19).
  4. think twice, to weigh carefully before acting; consider: I would think twice before taking on such a responsibility.

Origin of think

before 900; Middle English thinken, variant of thenken, Old English thencan; cognate with Dutch, German denken, Old Norse thekkja, Gothic thagkjan; akin to thank


adjective, compar. of good with best as superl.
  1. of superior quality or excellence: a better coat; a better speech.
  2. morally superior; more virtuous: They are no better than thieves.
  3. of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.; preferable: a better time for action.
  4. larger; greater: the better part of a lifetime.
  5. improved in health; healthier than before.
  6. completely recovered in health.
adverb, compar. of well with best as superl.
  1. in a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner: to behave better.
  2. to a greater degree; more completely or thoroughly: He knows the way better than we do. I probably know him better than anyone else.
  3. more: I walked better than a mile to town.
verb (used with object)
  1. to increase the good qualities of; make better; improve: to better one's grades; to better the lot of the suburban commuter.
  2. to improve upon; surpass; exceed: We have bettered last year's production record.
  3. Cards. to raise (a previous bid).
  1. that which has greater excellence or is preferable or wiser: the better of two choices.
  2. Usually betters. those superior to one in wisdom, wealth, etc.
  1. better off,
    1. in better circumstances.
    2. more fortunate; happier: Because of his asthma, he would be better off in a different climate.
  2. better oneself, to improve one's social standing, financial position, or education: He is going to night school because he wants to better himself.
  3. for the better, in a way that is an improvement: His health changed for the better.
  4. get/have the better of,
    1. to get an advantage over.
    2. to prevail against.
  5. go (someone) one better, to exceed the effort of; be superior to: The neighbors went us one better by buying two new cars.
  6. had better, would be wiser or more well-advised to; ought to: We had better stay indoors today.
  7. no better than one should be, morally inferior; immoral or amoral: Don't speak to him; he's no better than he should be!
  8. think better of,
    1. to reconsider and decide more favorably or wisely regarding: I was tempted to make a sarcastic retort, but thought better of it.
    2. to form a higher opinion of: I think better of him now that he's gone back to college.

Origin of better

before 900; Middle English bettre, Old English bet(t)(e)ra; cognate with Old High German bezziro (German besser), Dutch beter, Old Norse betr, Gothic batiza, equivalent to bat- (cognate with Old High German baz (adv.) better; akin to boot2) + -iza comparative suffix; suggested relation to Sanskrit bhadrá- “fortunate” is doubtful. See best
Related formsun·bet·tered, adjective
Can be confusedbetter bettor

Synonyms for better

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for think better of


  1. the comparative of good
  2. more excellent than other members of a particular group, category, etc
  3. more suitable, advantageous, attractive, etc
  4. improved in health
  5. fully recovered in health
  6. in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
  7. better off in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
  8. the better part of a large part ofthe better part of a day
  1. the comparative of well 1
  2. in a more excellent manner; more advantageously, attractively, etc
  3. in or to a greater degree or extent; moreshe is better loved than her sister
  4. go one better (Brit intr; US tr) to outdo (a person) or improve upon (someone else's effort)
  5. had better would be wise, sensible, etc toI had better be off
  6. know better than to not to be so stupid as to
  7. think better of
    1. to change one's course of action after reconsideration
    2. to rate (a person) more highly
  1. the better something that is the more excellent, useful, etc, of two such things
  2. (usually plural) a person who is superior, esp in social standing or ability
  3. all the better for improved as a result of
  4. all the better to more suitable to
  5. for better for worse whatever the subsequent events or changes may be
  6. for the better by way of improvementa change for the better
  7. get the better of to defeat, outwit, or surpass
  8. the better of Irish having recovered fromI'm not the better of it yet
  1. to make or become better
  2. (tr) to improve upon; surpass

Word Origin for better

Old English betera; related to Old Norse betri, Gothic batiza, Old High German beziro



esp US bettor

  1. a person who bets


verb thinks, thinking or thought
  1. (tr; may take a clause as object) to consider, judge, or believehe thinks my ideas impractical
  2. (intr often foll by about) to exercise the mind as in order to make a decision; ponder
  3. (intr) to be capable of conscious thoughtman is the only animal that thinks
  4. to remember; recollectI can't think what his name is
  5. (intr foll by of) to make the mental choice (of)think of a number
  6. (may take a clause as object or an infinitive)
    1. to expect; supposeI didn't think to see you here
    2. to be considerate or aware enough (to do something)he did not think to thank them
  7. (intr foll by of) to consider; regardshe thinks of herself as a poet
  8. (intr) to focus the attention on beingthink thin; think big
  9. (tr) to bring into or out of a specified condition by thinkingto think away one's fears
  10. I don't think slang a phrase added to an ironical statementyou're the paragon of virtue, I don't think
  11. think again to reconsider one's decision, opinion, etc
  12. think better of
    1. to change one's mind about (a course of action, decision, etc)
    2. to have a more favourable opinion of (a person)
  13. think much of (usually negative) to have a high opinion of
  14. think nothing of
    1. to regard as routine, easy, or natural
    2. to have no compunction or hesitation about
    3. to have a very low opinion of
  15. think twice to consider carefully before deciding (about something)
  1. informal a careful, open-minded assessmentlet's have a fresh think about this problem
  2. (modifier) informal characterized by or involving thinkers, thinking, or thoughta think session
  3. you've got another think coming slang you are mistaken and will soon have to alter your opinion
Derived Formsthinker, noun

Word Origin for think

Old English thencan; related to Old Frisian thenza, Old Saxon thenkian, Old High German denken, Old Norse thekkja, Gothic thagkjan
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 think better of



Old English þencan "conceive in the mind, think, consider, intend" (past tense þohte, p.p. geþoht), probably originally "cause to appear to oneself," from Proto-Germanic *thankjan (cf. Old Frisian thinka, Old Saxon thenkian, Old High German denchen, German denken, Old Norse þekkja, Gothic þagkjan); Old English þencan is the causative form of the distinct Old English verb þyncan "to seem or appear" (past tense þuhte, past participle geþuht), from Proto-Germanic *thunkjan (cf. German dünken, däuchte). Both are from PIE *tong- "to think, feel" which also is the root of thought and thank. The two meanings converged in Middle English and þyncan "to seem" was absorbed, except for archaic methinks "it seems to me." Jocular past participle thunk (not historical, but by analogy of drink, sink, etc.) is recorded from 1876.



Old English bettra, earlier betera, from Proto-Germanic *batizo-, from PIE *bhad- "good;" see best. Comparative adjective of good in the older Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian betera, Old Saxon betiro, Old Norse betr, Danish bedre, Old High German bezziro, German besser, Gothic batiza). In English it superseded bet in the adverbial sense by 1600. Better half "wife" is first attested 1570s.



late 12c., "that which is better," from better (adj.). Specific meaning "one's superior" is from early 14c. To get the better of (someone) is from 1650s, from better in a sense of "superiority, mastery," which is recorded from mid-15c.



Old English *beterian "improve, amend, make better," from Proto-Germanic *batizojan (cf. Old Frisian beteria, Dutch beteren, Old Norse betra, Old High German baziron, German bessern), from *batiz- (see better (adj.)). Related: Bettered; bettering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

think better of in Medicine


  1. To exercise the power of reason, as by conceiving ideas, drawing inferences, and using judgment.
  2. To weigh or consider an idea.
  3. To bring a thought to mind by imagination or invention.
  4. To recall a thought or an image to mind.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with think better of

think better of

Reconsider, change one's mind about, as in I hope you'll think better of it before you quit your job. [c. 1600]


In addition to the idioms beginning with better

  • better half
  • better late than never
  • better off
  • better part of
  • better safe than sorry
  • better than

also see:

  • against one's better judgment
  • all better
  • all the better
  • discretion is the better part of valor
  • for better or for worse
  • get better
  • get the better (best) of
  • go one better
  • had better (best)
  • know better
  • seen better days
  • so much the better
  • sooner the better
  • take a turn for the better
  • think better of
  • you'd better believe it

Also see underbest.


In addition to the idioms beginning with think

  • think a lot of
  • think aloud
  • think back
  • think better of
  • think big
  • thinking cap
  • think little of
  • think nothing of
  • think on one's feet
  • think out
  • think over
  • think piece
  • think positive
  • think tank
  • think the world of
  • think through
  • think twice
  • think up

also see:

  • come to think of it
  • have another guess (think) coming
  • hear oneself think
  • not think much of
  • put on one's thinking cap
  • wishful thinking

Also see underthought.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.