Nearby words

  1. thotmes i,
  2. thotmes ii,
  3. thotmes iii,
  4. thou,
  5. though,
  6. thought disorder,
  7. thought experiment,
  8. thought leader,
  9. thought police,
  10. thought reading

Origin of thought

before 900; Middle English thoght, Old English (ge)thōht; cognate with Dutch gedachte; akin to thank, think1

2. See idea. 3. reflection, cogitation.




simple past tense and past participle of think1.



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

to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.
to employ one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation: Think carefully before you begin.
to have a certain thing as the subject of one's thoughts: I was thinking about you. We could think of nothing else.
to call something to one's conscious mind: I couldn't think of his phone number.
to consider something as a possible action, choice, etc.: She thought about cutting her hair.
to invent or conceive of something: We thought of a new plan.
to have consideration or regard for someone: Think of others first.
to esteem a person or thing as indicated: to think badly of someone.
to have a belief or opinion as indicated: I think so.
(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.

to have or form in the mind as an idea, conception, etc.
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.
to consider for evaluation or for possible action upon: Think the deal over.
to regard as specified: He thought me unkind.
to believe to be true of someone or something: to think evil of the neighbors.
to analyze or evolve rationally: to think the problem out.
to have as a plan or intention: I thought that I would go.
to anticipate or expect: I did not think to find you here.


of or relating to thinking or thought.
Informal. stimulating or challenging to the intellect or mind: the think book of the year.Compare think piece.


Informal. the act or a period of thinking: I want to sit down and give it a good think.

Verb Phrases

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.
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.
think up, to devise or contrive by thinking: Can you think up an arrangement of furniture for this room?

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



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 thought

British Dictionary definitions for thought



the past tense and past participle of think


the act or process of thinking; deliberation, meditation, or reflection
a concept, opinion, or idea
philosophical or intellectual ideas typical of a particular time or placeGerman thought in the 19th century
application of mental attention; considerationhe gave the matter some thought
purpose or intentionI have no thought of giving up
expectationno thought of reward
a small amount; trifleyou could be a thought more enthusiastic
kindness or regardhe has no thought for his widowed mother

Word Origin for thought

Old English thōht; related to Old Frisian thochta, Old Saxon, Old High German githācht


verb thinks, thinking or thought

(tr; may take a clause as object) to consider, judge, or believehe thinks my ideas impractical
(intr often foll by about) to exercise the mind as in order to make a decision; ponder
(intr) to be capable of conscious thoughtman is the only animal that thinks
to remember; recollectI can't think what his name is
(intr foll by of) to make the mental choice (of)think of a number
(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
(intr foll by of) to consider; regardshe thinks of herself as a poet
(intr) to focus the attention on beingthink thin; think big
(tr) to bring into or out of a specified condition by thinkingto think away one's fears
I don't think slang a phrase added to an ironical statementyou're the paragon of virtue, I don't think
think again to reconsider one's decision, opinion, etc
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)
think much of (usually negative) to have a high opinion of
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
think twice to consider carefully before deciding (about something)


informal a careful, open-minded assessmentlet's have a fresh think about this problem
(modifier) informal characterized by or involving thinkers, thinking, or thoughta think session
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 thought
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for thought




The act or the process of thinking; cogitation.
A product of thinking, such as an idea.
The faculty of thinking or reasoning.




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 thought


see food for thought; lost in thought; on second thought; penny for your thoughts; perish the thought; train of thought. Also see under think.


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.