[ thing-king ]
/ ˈθɪŋ kɪŋ /


rational; reasoning: People are thinking animals.
thoughtful; reflective: Any thinking person would reject that plan.


thought; judgment, reflection: clear thinking.

Nearby words

  1. thingness,
  2. things are looking up,
  3. thingstead,
  4. thingumabob,
  5. thingy,
  6. think a lot of,
  7. think aloud,
  8. think back,
  9. think better of,
  10. think big

Origin of thinking

1250–1300; Middle English thenking (noun). See think1, -ing2, -ing1

Related formsthink·ing·ly, adverbnon·think·ing, adjective, noun

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


[ thingk ]
/ θɪŋk /

verb (used without object), thought, think·ing. Obsolete.

to seem or appear (usually used impersonally with a dative as the subject).
Compare methinks.

Origin of think

before 900; Middle English thinken, Old English thyncan; cognate with Dutch dunken, German dünken, Old Norse thykkja, Gothic thugkjan Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thinking

British Dictionary definitions for thinking


/ (ˈθɪŋkɪŋ) /


opinion or judgment
the process of thought


(prenominal) using or capable of using intelligent thoughtthinking people
put on one's thinking cap to ponder a matter or problem


/ (θɪŋk) /

verb thinks, thinking or thought


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 thinking



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for thinking


[ thĭngkĭng ]


The act or practice of a person who thinks; thought.


Characterized by thought or thoughtfulness; rational.


[ thĭngk ]


To exercise the power of reason, as by conceiving ideas, drawing inferences, and using judgment.
To weigh or consider an idea.
To bring a thought to mind by imagination or invention.
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 thinking


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.