Definition of ponder in US English:



[with object]
  • Think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.

    ‘I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion’
    no object ‘she sat pondering over her problem’
    • ‘She pondered for a second but then she realised that it was the panther.’
    • ‘One ponders the possibility of a rewritten script directed by Besson with Yuen staging the action.’
    • ‘When he's not writing protest poems about saving rocks, Albert ponders the meaning of life.’
    • ‘Their lawyers are said to be pondering the matter of copyright infringement at the moment.’
    • ‘I think I like her better when she's pondering out loud.’
    • ‘In an austere church in Geneva, he ponders the Calvinist influence.’
    • ‘As he ponders the next option in his club career, it is just possible that a few proverbs from his native land are springing to mind once again.’
    • ‘Not only that, the filmmakers created a provocative action film that ponders the essence of reality and identity.’
    • ‘There is a subtle message to the reader who sits pondering the meaning of the titles.’
    • ‘And if he is pondering this career move, it is unlikely to be the first time.’
    • ‘Adrian pondered for a moment, deciding what the strange word she said meant.’
    • ‘The Spanish Civil War itself proved a fitting setting for a film that ponders death and its finality.’
    • ‘Believe it or not they don't just sit indoors, pondering life and pausing occasionally to smell a rose.’
    • ‘He lay on his back in the Mater Hospital for weeks on end fighting the disease and pondering the future.’
    • ‘The merest of pauses follow as he ponders his quick-fire response.’
    • ‘Between the explosions and chase scenes, The Island ponders the theme of how far science should go to extend lives.’
    • ‘I pondered for a minutes, then shook my head.’
    • ‘So, now we're pondering things we can do with the film now that it's made.’
    • ‘She ponders her resolution to post regularly, and how it relates to her relationship with her father.’
    • ‘They have long conversations, pondering the twists of fate that separate success from failure.’
    think about, give thought to, consider, review, reflect on, mull over, contemplate, study, meditate on, muse on, deliberate about, cogitate on, dwell on, brood on, brood over, ruminate about, ruminate on, chew over, puzzle over, speculate about, weigh up, turn over in one's mind
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Middle English (in the sense ‘appraise, judge the worth of’): from Old French ponderer ‘consider’, from Latin ponderare ‘weigh, reflect on’, from pondus, ponder- ‘weight’.