American English

Definition of thought noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    something you think
  1. 1[countable] thought (of something/of doing something) thought (that…) something that you think of or remember I don't like the thought of you walking home alone. She was struck by the sudden thought that he might already have left. The very thought of it makes me feel sick. I've just had a thought (= an idea). Would Mark be able to help?It's just a thought. “Why don't you try the other key?” “That's a thought!” All kinds of thoughts raced through my mind. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the subject.
  2. mind/ideas
  3. 2thoughts [plural] a person's mind and all the ideas that they have in it when they are thinking My thoughts turned to home. You are always in my thoughts.
  4. process/act of thinking
  5. 3[uncountable] the power or process of thinking A good teacher encourages independence of thought. She was lost in thought (= concentrating so much on her thoughts that she was not aware of her surroundings).
  6. 4[uncountable] the act of thinking seriously and carefully about something synonym consideration I've given the matter careful thought. Not enough thought has gone into this essay.
  7. care/worry
  8. 5[countable] thought (for somebody/something) a feeling of care or worry Spare a thought for those without enough to eat this winter. Don't give it another thought (= to tell someone not to worry after they have said they are sorry). It's the thought that counts (= used to say that someone has been very kind even if they have only done something small or unimportant).
  9. intention
  10. 6[uncountable, countable] thought (of something/of doing something) an intention or a hope of doing something She had given up all thought of changing her job. He acted with no thoughts of personal gain.
  11. in politics/science, etc.
  12. 7[uncountable] ideas in politics, science, etc. connected with a particular person, group, or period of history feminist thought see also think
  13. Idioms
      collect yourself/your thoughts
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    1. 1to try to control your emotions and become calm I'm fine—I just need a minute to collect myself.
    2. 2to prepare yourself mentally for something She paused to collect her thoughts before entering the interview room.
    food for thought
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    an idea that makes you think seriously and carefully The program certainly provides plenty of food for thought.
    give (somebody) pause (also give (somebody) pause for thought) (formal)
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    to make someone think seriously about something or hesitate before doing something Popular resistance to the measures should give the government pause.
    have second thoughts
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    to change your opinion after thinking about something again You're not having second thoughts about it, are you?
    on second thought
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    used to say that you have changed your opinion I'll wait here. No, on second thought, I'll come with you.
    a penny for your thoughts (saying)
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    used to ask someone what they are thinking about
    perish the thought (informal)
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    used to say that you find a suggestion unacceptable or that you hope that something will never happen Me get married? Perish the thought!
    school(s) of thought
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    a way of thinking that a number of people share There are two schools of thought about how this illness should be treated. He belongs to the school of thought that says that competition can be very stimulating for children.
    a train of thought
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    the connected series of thoughts that are in your head at a particular time The phone ringing interrupted my train of thought.
    the wish is father to the thought (saying)
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    we believe a thing because we want it to be true
    without a second thought
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    immediately; without stopping to think about something further He dived in after her without a second thought.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: thought