Definition of thinking in English:



mass noun
  • 1The process of considering or reasoning about something.

    ‘the selectors have some thinking to do before the match’
    • ‘They are best developed through regular exposure to assignments that are process oriented and that require critical thinking.’
    • ‘The strongest evidence of thinking along these lines appears in 1938.’
    • ‘He thought that he could discover truth by deductive thinking in mathematical terms alone.’
    • ‘The declines in stock prices are the result of foreigners selling Japan short, this thinking goes.’
    • ‘In reality, analytical and intuitive thinking support and complete each other.’
    • ‘In debate about law, we are used to the idea that legal thinking is objective and that law applies to everyone.’
    • ‘It is time for some imaginative thinking - new ideas for making public services work better for those who need them most.’
    • ‘Logical thinking works to your great advantage in most instances.’
    • ‘Leadership, strategic thinking and motivation are considered to be the key qualities of an effective CEO.’
    • ‘Make voting more accessible, the thinking goes, and more citizens will vote.’
    • ‘Clear thinking, good ideas and listening to what customers want are the core elements.’
    • ‘The Mars missions show the power of preconceived ideas to cloud our thinking.’
    • ‘This thinking reflects a new development in British universities.’
    • ‘But does this line of thinking mean that we should all live in cities?’
    • ‘Most importantly, the lessons of these recent experiences also have greatly contributed to our current strategic thinking.’
    • ‘Isn't it technology, for example, which makes new ways of thinking, new ideas and paradigms, possible?’
    • ‘In the process, they'll learn about generating ideas and stimulating creative thinking.’
    • ‘Such offences, so the thinking goes, are of a lesser order and should not stigmatize violators.’
    • ‘Why have these discredited ways of thinking become so influential once again?’
    • ‘Yet the late 1980s and early 1990s have also seen the return of ideas based on mercantilist thinking.’
    1. 1.1 A person's ideas or opinions.
      ‘his thinking is reflected in his later autobiography’
      • ‘He also gave police an insight into his thinking, ideas that led him to set the bush alight.’
      • ‘Their thinking, ideas, and aspirations should be a part of the planning exercise for their city.’
      • ‘Thank you for taking the time to write the essay, pointing out his short-sighted thinking.’
      • ‘Can you tell us something about these experiences and how they shaped your thinking?’
      • ‘One of my posts is not the sum totality of my thinking on the subject.’
      • ‘It is my sincere hope that our readers will find many new perspectives and ideas to challenge their thinking.’
      • ‘What works, preferably those that can be accessed online, helped shape your thinking?’
      • ‘The observation that stimulated my thinking on this topic was of a humble grammatical phenomenon.’
      • ‘My thinking on this topic has been influenced by stimulating discussions that I have had with social scientists.’
      • ‘I think these are over-inflated ideas, and my thinking comes out of working with depressed people.’
      • ‘I'm going to loft an idea here and I don't want to prejudice your thinking by blurting out any names.’
      • ‘Four of the statements were about issues that dominated his thinking at the time and were highly emotional.’
      • ‘There are other, more objective factors that will doubtless be shaping his thinking.’
      • ‘Philip's rhetoric was also existential, and it strongly influenced my thinking.’
      • ‘My thinking has evolved since I wrote the book.’
      • ‘Lincoln knew that the words people habituated themselves to use would influence their thinking.’
      • ‘Our thinking can reflect the systems and values of the world to the extent that we are controlled by them.’
      • ‘The harder question is how much she influences his thinking and his decisions.’
      • ‘Well, this is the director's view of the world, and it obviously reflects his thinking accurately.’
      • ‘I have no idea what their thinking is at this moment in time other than by reading their own public utterances.’
      reasoning, idea, ideas, theory, thoughts, line of thought, philosophy, beliefs
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2thinkingsarchaic Thoughts; meditations.
      ‘I am wrap'd in dismal thinkings’


  • attributive Using thought or rational judgement; intelligent.

    ‘he seemed a thinking man’
    • ‘It insults the intelligence of clear thinking peoples and plays to the hearts and minds of the weak.’
    • ‘She is the thinking pop lover's solution to overplayed and overdone artists.’
    • ‘Greta, you strike me and always have, as a very rational, articulate woman, a thinking woman.’
    • ‘Paradoxically it is the educated and thinking class that remains the greatest defaulter when it comes to voting leaders in or out.’
    • ‘Any thinking person must realise what is happening is wrong.’
    • ‘But surely, you might say, she is an intelligent woman, the thinking man's posh totty.’
    • ‘We all know that he isn't his strongest in a debate, but should that matter to thinking people?’
    • ‘He has become a much larger, deeper thinking man, even though nothing about him has changed but the script.’
    • ‘It is a play for a thinking audience prepared to be confronted.’
    • ‘A production that exudes class from the cast to the slick set changes, Cinderella is this year's thinking kid's pantomime.’
    • ‘It is an example that must be so frightening to any thinking Frenchman.’
    • ‘When my boy grows to become a thinking person, with conscience and sensibility, am I the man I want him to see me as?’
    • ‘He is such a natural goalscorer that he is the thinking man's choice.’
    • ‘I believe that many thinking people will come back to the Democrats.’
    • ‘No thinking person, with or without faith, can in contemporary life evade this struggle.’
    • ‘Turning children at the threshold of their teens into rational thinking beings is clearly not their credo.’
    • ‘This is an insult to educated and rational thinking people of this nation.’
    intelligent, sensible, reasonable, rational, reasoning
    View synonyms


  • good (or nice) thinking

    • Used as an expression of approval for an ingenious plan or observation.

      • ‘That was good thinking; he wouldn't be able to pin me to Paul then.’
      • ‘But good thinking, Dean, others may agree with you.’
      • ‘And Rick, good thinking with the coffee!’
      • ‘That was good thinking, Doc - I wish I could go to sleep in three seconds all the time!’
      • ‘It was good thinking, except I'd forgotten it was Tuesday and, on Tuesdays, the Post Office in Spilsby shuts at midday.’
      • ‘Oh, good thinking Dannie - I so don't have enough napkins.’
      • ‘Now that's good thinking, but still not very heroic.’
      • ‘However, his great stroke of genius was the lateral thinking he employed when he decided to use the same principle on a larger scale, on a different surface, thus inventing the lawn mower. Good thinking, huh?’
      • ‘The first thing to remember is that while allowing employees to have some fun is good thinking, everyone needs to remember that they call it work for a reason - it's work, not play, despite the great weather.’
  • put on one's thinking cap

    • informal Meditate on a problem.

      • ‘It all comes down to two simple facts, both of which were obvious from the beginning to anyone who would bother to put on their thinking cap.’
      • ‘Okay, keep going, put on your thinking cap and see what pops up.’
      • ‘Settle into a comfy chair, get out your notebook, and put on your thinking cap.’
      • ‘Now go put on your thinking cap, ration yourself thirty minutes for a little intellectual playtime, and read the whole thing.’
      • ‘So now I'm actually going to have to put on my thinking cap.’
      • ‘I've watched it several times over the years when I don't want to put on my thinking cap.’
      • ‘Alright, put on your thinking cap and let's go.’
      • ‘This play may not be for the faint of heart - be prepared to put on your thinking cap and engage it head-on.’