Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

contemplate - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb contemplate pronunciation in American English /ˈkɑntəmˌpleɪt/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlecontemplating
past tensecontemplated
past participlecontemplated
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [transitive] to consider doing something in the future
    I’m contemplating retirement next year.
    contemplate doing something: He refuses even to contemplate moving his family again.
    1. a.
      to consider the possibility of something happening
      We’re not even contemplating defeat.
      The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to think very carefully about something for a long time
    I haven’t got time to sit around contemplating the meaning of life.
  3. 3
    [transitive] mainly literary to look at something or someone for a long time
    He stood contemplating his image in the mirror.


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog