showing consideration for others; considerate.
characterized by or manifesting careful thought: a thoughtful essay.
occupied with or given to thought; contemplative; meditative; reflective: in a thoughtful mood.
careful, heedful, or mindful: to be thoughtful of one's safety.

Origin of thoughtful

Middle English word dating back to 1150–1200; see origin at thought1, -ful
Related formsthought·ful·ly, adverbthought·ful·ness, nouno·ver·thought·ful, adjectiveo·ver·thought·ful·ly, adverbo·ver·thought·ful·ness, nounun·thought·ful, adjectiveun·thought·ful·ly, adverbun·thought·ful·ness, noun

Synonyms for thoughtful

1. attentive, solicitous. Thoughtful, considerate mean taking thought for the comfort and the good of others. Thoughtful implies providing little attentions, offering services, or in some way looking out for the comfort or welfare of others: It was thoughtful of you to send the flowers. Considerate implies sparing others annoyance or discomfort, and being careful not to hurt their feelings: not considerate of his family. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thoughtful

Contemporary Examples of thoughtful

Historical Examples of thoughtful

  • The announcement brought with it a long and thoughtful pause.

  • His look was bright and thoughtful and his bearing attractive.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Wanhope waited for a thoughtful moment of censure eventuating in toleration.

  • Especially is this so with thoughtful, sober-minded boys like the young Napoleon.

  • She was standing a little apart from me, her eyes cast down and thoughtful.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

British Dictionary definitions for thoughtful



considerate in the treatment of other people
showing careful thought
pensive; reflective
Derived Formsthoughtfully, adverbthoughtfulness, noun
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 thoughtful

c.1200, "contemplative," from thought + -ful. Also in Middle English, "prudent; moody, anxious." Meaning "showing consideration for others" is from 1851 (cf. thoughtless.) Related: Thoughtfully; thoughtfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper