Definition of ruminate in English:



  • 1Think deeply about something.

    ‘we sat ruminating on the nature of existence’
    • ‘People leave the theatre either gleefully ruminating over what it all means, or cursing the day non-linear narrative was invented.’
    • ‘His protagonists are too full of life and way too complicated to be the mere vehicles for ruminating on the contemporary dilemmas they face.’
    • ‘She turned small issues into huge problems, spent hours ruminating about perceived inadequacies, and feared rejection.’
    • ‘This of course allowed me to ruminate without distraction - and ruminate I did, ending any last chance for sleep.’
    • ‘And now you are no doubt ruminating on the results of the General Election.’
    • ‘Ultimately, this romance becomes a narrative strategy for ruminating on creation and offering an alternate genesis myth.’
    • ‘She spends the early part of the film ruminating over a number of failed relationships; in fact, like the female lead in every romantic comedy, she's looking for Mr. Right, but having a hard time finding him.’
    • ‘It's probably not worth spending any time or effort ruminating over why Hollywood decided to remake an English language film that is readily available on video and works as well today as when it first came out.’
    • ‘In the morning, as I wake up, I start ruminating.’
    • ‘She'd spent a lot of time ruminating on her conversation with the billionaire earlier that morning.’
    • ‘Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, this beautifully animated short ruminates on the topics of isolation, ignorance, loss and apathy.’
    • ‘He ruminated on Amie's decisions and behavior.’
    • ‘Harrison Blackwood and his cronies, meanwhile, spend their days ruminating on, and searching for, signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.’
    • ‘It is a short step from focusing on emotions to ruminating on them, and research has shown that people who ruminate have an increased chance of becoming depressed.’
    • ‘As I enjoy the good fortune of greeting my 42nd new year's day, I've been ruminating on one sign of my good fortune: the safe, stable, well protected civil society we enjoy.’
    • ‘This is a storyline the three have been ruminating on over the last two years.’
    • ‘People are often consumed with the past, ruminating about events and chewing them over and over.’
    • ‘Montrealers are ruminating on the uncharacteristic torpor that has struck since Christmas.’
    • ‘Ian Patrick, meanwhile, was ruminating on what he'd overheard the secretary say.’
    • ‘The play focuses on ordinary people ruminating over questions they'd never been required to address publicly before.’
    think about, contemplate, consider, give thought to, give consideration to, mull over, meditate on, muse on, ponder on, ponder over, deliberate about, deliberate on, cogitate about, cogitate on, dwell on, brood on, brood over, agonize over, worry about, chew over, puzzle over
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  • 2(of a ruminant) chew the cud.

    • ‘There were wagons parked there, two of them, with bison in the traces ruminating and steaming in the crisp air.’
    • ‘As the cattle paddle, ruminant and ruminating, sociably fussing with flank to flank, they occasionally raise prying muzzles to the horizon where, spectral in the mist and distance out at sea, boats swing to the wind.’
    • ‘The cow needs a balance of physical ingredients in her rumen to get her to ruminate, to slow down the flow of food through the stomach and develop rumen wall muscle tone.’
    • ‘We are into our third round of chicha, a black cow is ruminating at the barn door.’
    chew the cud
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Mid 16th century: from Latin ruminat- ‘chewed over’, from the verb ruminari.