Main definitions of thought in US English:

: thought1thought2



  • 1An idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind.

    ‘Maggie had a sudden thought’
    ‘I asked him if he had any thoughts on how it had happened’
    ‘Mrs. Oliver's first thought was to get help’
    • ‘On taking charge, he convened a series of team meetings at which he spelled out his thoughts and plans.’
    • ‘That thought brought her attention to the navy school bag she still had on her back.’
    • ‘I was an average mess as a young man and I didn't really have a thought in my head worth reporting.’
    • ‘He's got some interesting thoughts on algorithms, but seems stymied by issues of context.’
    • ‘That probably wasn't the thought going through his mind back in June, though.’
    • ‘Ever since he had signed the letter of intent, thoughts of the merger had obsessed him.’
    • ‘I have all these stupid thoughts and ideas in my head and it's not worth having them.’
    • ‘He smiled at the thought and turned his attention back to the screens below his face.’
    • ‘It gives me plenty of time to think, collect my thoughts and opinions, strike inspiration to write.’
    • ‘I began to consider crazy thoughts, such as whether we were in some strange power game.’
    • ‘Claire smiled at the thought, remembering how they had a fight just the other day.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of apes having thoughts that they intentionally convey to others.’
    • ‘It's hard for you to express ideas and thoughts, making conversations short.’
    • ‘It's a secret place to write down your thoughts and inner musings or just somewhere to record what you did each day.’
    • ‘He considered boiling an egg, and the thought made him check how much time he had to get to the airport.’
    • ‘For some reason, all my thoughts of late have been of a political nature.’
    • ‘I have no doubt that this thought occurs to every undergrad at some time in their academic career.’
    • ‘She turned back to go back to the living room when a sudden thought entered her mind.’
    • ‘James shook his head to clear it of distracting thoughts and concentrated on his job.’
    • ‘His first thought was that the president was bigger than he had imagined him to be.’
    idea, notion, line of thinking, belief, concept, conception, conviction, opinion, view, impression, image, perception, mental picture
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    1. 1.1one's thoughts One's mind or attention.
      ‘he's very much in our thoughts and prayers’
      • ‘She sat back and simply lost herself in her thoughts while Jamie continued driving.’
      • ‘Keep the faith, my southern neighbours, and know you are in our thoughts and prayers.’
      • ‘The woman presently occupying his thoughts suddenly let out a little moan and sat up.’
      • ‘I felt awkward, I wanted them to know they were in my thoughts, but how would I approach them?’
      • ‘The haulier said a fellow English prisoner who he befriended in the Greek jail was in his thoughts today.’
      • ‘He's in my thoughts and not far away and if we lose attacking players he could well end up in this squad.’
      • ‘It is two and a half years since he last saw them and not a day passes when they are not in his thoughts.’
      • ‘We are in their thoughts constantly, but how much do we, as a nation, care about them?’
      • ‘His parents are still in my thoughts, and I know their pain does not go away.’
      • ‘They said Michael was in their thoughts and that they would continue to pray for him.’
      • ‘The homeland was always in his thoughts and it was this that brought him here to spend his last days.’
      • ‘Yet, even after all those years that time still remains very much alive in my thoughts.’
      • ‘Frowning, she tried to think of why he was in her thoughts so much lately.’
      • ‘Despite the distance we felt in this time, I always had her in my thoughts and prayers.’
      • ‘All she had to keep him in her thoughts were long distance phone calls.’
      • ‘I hate the fact that I can't imagine a time when I don't have you in my thoughts and my heart.’
      • ‘It'd be astonishing if those elements didn't hang around in my thoughts long enough to pop up in my dreams.’
      • ‘No doubt they can all be assured that they are in our thoughts and prayers and we wish them well.’
      • ‘I was too wrapped up in my thoughts to take in the surroundings, and enjoy my freedom.’
      • ‘To signal that he remained in their thoughts, Henry and James named their periodical after him.’
    2. 1.2 An act of considering or remembering someone or something.
      ‘she hadn't given a thought to Max for some time’
      • ‘She has a notebook filled with names and numbers, many she has never given a thought to.’
      • ‘Also, has anyone given a thought to how a cellphone can be put to positive use in a classroom?’
      • ‘There they go, beetling back and forth without a thought for their spiritual enrichment.’
      • ‘Have you considered giving ownership a thought, or are you having too much fun racing?’
      • ‘And have they given a thought to pensioners who have smoked all their lives and go to pubs for good quality food?’
      • ‘I have never given a thought to being killed by a terrorist bomb, but I don't live in a target area.’
      • ‘He had not given a thought to how his crew might react when they learned of his intentions.’
      • ‘They scuttled across the floor towards him without a thought for either strategy or safety.’
      • ‘It may be worth remembering the old saying that it is the thought and not the gift that counts for most of us.’
    3. 1.3usually thought of An intention, hope, or idea of doing or receiving something.
      ‘he had given up all thoughts of making Manhattan his home’
      anticipation, expectation, prospect, contemplation, likelihood, possibility, fear
      hope, aspiration, ambition, dream
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  • 2The action or process of thinking.

    ‘Sophie sat deep in thought’
    • ‘She was so deep in thought that she didn't notice the boy standing on the path before her.’
    • ‘Jake watched her slow, steady breathing, and sat deep in thought, elbows resting on his knees.’
    • ‘She was so deep in thought that at first she did not notice that she was sinking.’
    • ‘She no longer seemed aware of her surroundings as she chewed absently on a nail as she sat deep in thought.’
    • ‘Rather it is a place which reminds us that art is not just about the next big show but about contemplation and thought.’
    • ‘Sliding down the trunk of the tree, he set Delilah on his lap and sat deep in thought.’
    • ‘He pretended to consider that for a moment, tapping his fingers together as if deep in thought.’
    • ‘He stood quietly in thought for a moment, then he handed me a little tube with a USB connector on one end.’
    • ‘As pipes and drums played a melancholy lament the Queen was deep in thought.’
    • ‘The bigger problem is that Miles gives little credit to thought and imagination as makers of the nation.’
    • ‘There is also a small statue of a child sitting with her arms around her knees deep in thought.’
    • ‘You are either in your room deep in thought, or you're sitting in the staircase daydreaming.’
    • ‘This line of thought takes us rapidly to the idea that I can be happy doing any old thing.’
    • ‘They remained silent for a moment, munching on their lunches and each deep in thought.’
    • ‘After retreating away from her, Keiran was silent for a moment, lost in thought.’
    • ‘She glanced over at Logan who was sitting on the bed staring out the window deep in thought.’
    • ‘He was deep in thought when the doctor walked out of the emergency room and towards them.’
    • ‘She stopped then, dabbed at her eyes, and seemed to be deep in thought for a long moment.’
    • ‘Doctor Conrad strolled over, deep in thought, and sat down on the bed at Danny's feet.’
    • ‘He was so deep in thought that he didn't notice that she'd gotten up and gone to the door.’
    thinking, reasoning, contemplation, musing, pondering, consideration, reflection, introspection, deliberation, study, rumination, cogitation, meditation, brooding, mulling over, reverie, brown study, concentration, debate, speculation
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    1. 2.1 The formation of opinions, especially as a philosophy or system of ideas, or the opinions so formed.
      ‘the freedom of thought and action’
      ‘the traditions of Western thought’
      • ‘There is no debate, no democracy, no intellectual thought and no philosophical thinking.’
      • ‘On one hand, freedom of speech and thought is one of the cornerstones of any democracy.’
      • ‘For Anderson, postmodern thought has a structural relation to French Marxist politics.’
      • ‘What took their place was an exotic marriage of social and philosophical thought, at the altar of literature.’
      • ‘The question is - what place is there for philosophical thought and purity of action?’
      • ‘It reflects the breadth of contemporary Scottish thought.’
      • ‘His system of thought had a profound influence on Christian theology and Western philosophy.’
      • ‘Our latter evolution as human beings has been driven by our capacity for conceptual thought.’
      • ‘In the first place, the soul does not have absolute priority over the body in Christian thought.’
      • ‘He argues that Shakespeare integrates Protestant and Catholic motifs and systems of thought.’
      • ‘Rothbard was the architect of the body of thought known around the world as libertarianism.’
      • ‘It is a system of thought that has produced people who willingly suffer and die for their faith in every age.’
      • ‘He is fascinated by defunct systems of thought - and his knowledge of them is breathtaking.’
      • ‘He enjoyed his retirement, listening to music and extending his reading of contemporary thought.’
      • ‘No one could possibly argue that freedom of opinion, thought and judgment could be expressed in illegal acts.’
      • ‘Religion and science do not, therefore, need to be seen as opposing systems of thought.’
      • ‘Gottlob Frege's writings have had a profound influence on contemporary thought.’
      • ‘For most of his life Greene was a defender of free, critical thought.’
      • ‘It is a set of ideas, a body of thought, a system of norms, which has been arranged by certain people at a particular time and place.’
    2. 2.2 Careful consideration or attention.
      ‘I haven't given it much thought’
      • ‘We in the west need to give careful thought as to how we can reduce environmental pollution.’
      • ‘As you would expect, a lot of thought and care has gone into the construction of the glove.’
      • ‘Mostly, after careful thought and analysis, I come to the conclusion they get what they deserve.’
      • ‘After a lot of thought I have finally decided to hang up the pen so to speak.’
      • ‘It's the sort of thing that needs much careful thought and contingency planning.’
      • ‘It is a very complicated system, has a lot of merit, but needs a lot of careful thought.’
      • ‘Five-star hotels are so called because a lot of thought and work goes into whatever they do.’
      • ‘A lot of thought and effort has gone into preparing my equipment too.’
      • ‘The teaching is second to none and the attention to detail and thought that goes into everything is just fantastic.’
      • ‘Please don't think for a moment that we cover these events without the most careful thought.’
      • ‘That part of the exchange kinda makes me think that he's given the idea some thought.’
      • ‘The bridge will not be an eyesore as suggested because careful thought has been given to its design and position.’
      • ‘This does not mean pampering to their needs without thought and due consideration.’
      • ‘You need to give some thought and consideration to the type of make-up you use.’
      • ‘I can see John puts a lot of thought into all his actions, in his preparations for matches or on the training ground.’
      • ‘There were some other areas where careful thought and rule-reading were required.’
      • ‘Good paths are vital to a garden and deserve a lot of thought and attention.’
      • ‘We wanted to find the root cause and got a clear picture that little thought had gone into packaging.’
      • ‘There may be a case for this with some of the higher dose procedures, but even here we would need to give it careful thought.’
      • ‘He said that just a bit of thought could help avoid temptation for the criminals.’
      attention, consideration, heed, regard, notice, scrutiny, care
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    3. 2.3 Concern for another's well-being or convenience.
      ‘he is carrying on the life of a single man, with no thought for me’
      • ‘This country appears to be pushing ahead with its own proposals with no thought for the rest of the world.’
      • ‘Has the minister no thought for his personal dignity or the reputation of the parliament he leads?’
      • ‘Mr Hay said the hackers had spared no thought for his clients trying to trace old friends and colleagues.’
      • ‘Victor is partying it up all over Europe, with little or no thought for Lauren.’
      • ‘You feel hurt and rejected by his ultimatum, which he has given without much thought for your feelings.’
      • ‘I read them with great pleasure but with little or no thought for the agony the poet has gone through.’
      • ‘Bilbao and Madrid were bombed with no thought for civilians or buildings.’
      • ‘For a short time there was no thought for the testing path ahead of them as they laughed and joked like any household.’
      compassion, sympathy, caring, concern, regard, solicitude, solicitousness, empathy
      View synonyms


  • don't give it another thought

    • informal Used to tell someone not to worry when they have apologized for something.

  • it's the thought that counts

    • informal Used to indicate that it is the kindness behind an act that matters, however imperfect or insignificant the act may be.

      • ‘Remember, it's all about giving your time, and it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘Of course, no one has much time for pleasure reading right now, but it's the thought that counts, I think.’
      • ‘I think I might have sent it too late to arrive by Christmas, but I suppose it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘It's just that I'm keenly aware that it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘Almost every ingredient is farmed nowadays but it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘A very nice lady who shared my outrage promised to buy me a drink - an easy promise to make on an anonymous message board, but it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘I got a whole bunch of stuff and some nice books and stuff that I probably won't get a chance to read, but it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘I probably should have made it a bit larger, but it's the thought that counts, right?’
      • ‘It does not matter what the price may be, it's the thought that counts.’
      • ‘We're taught that when it comes to buying presents for people, it's the thought that counts.’
  • a second thought

    • with negativeMore than the slightest consideration.

      ‘not one of them gave a second thought to the risks involved’
      • ‘I would hope that when the council cabinet meets to consider this, they turn it down without a second thought.’
      • ‘My son was quite ill and, as I don't drive, I called Mick and he took us to my doctors in Ashford without a second thought.’
      • ‘I bet none of the stuffed shirts inside give him a second thought.’
      • ‘I didn't give it a second thought until this evening, when I cast off my suit and resumed my barefoot existence.’
      • ‘My sister was left without this money, the weekend before Christmas, without a second thought.’
      • ‘She stayed for about an hour then left without saying goodbye to us but I assumed it was because we were so busy and never gave it a second thought.’
      • ‘There are many others who continue to commit crimes without a second thought.’
      • ‘Thousands of us travel over the River Kent every day without giving a second thought to the bridges beneath our feet and car wheels.’
      • ‘Without a second thought, you'd probably compress the file and send it off.’
      • ‘They commented again on her potential, but waved her off without a second thought.’
  • take thought

    • dated Reflect or consider.

      • ‘The English have a certain power of acting without taking thought.’
      • ‘The theoretical scientist is one whose exertions are mental rather than physical, who makes discoveries by taking thought rather than by turning stones.’
      • ‘Just as I am sustained by others, often without my knowing or taking thought, so my work, too, helps to sustain the world, even in the absence of appreciation, promotion or pay.’
      • ‘This he does by studying the whole situation, seeing the relation of his community to others, getting light on the present problems from past experiences, and taking thought not only for the immediate present but for the future.’
      • ‘Nevertheless Joe always lived for the day and never took thought of tomorrow and he could say at the end of his days which ended in poverty, that he had no regrets.’
  • that's a thought!

    • informal Used to express approval of a comment or suggestion.


Old English thōht, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gedachte, also to think.




Main definitions of thought in US English:

: thought1thought2


  • past and past participle of think