Definition of thought noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//θɔːt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//θɔːt//
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    something you think
  1. 1  [countable] something that you think of or remember thought of (somebody/something) doing something I don't like the thought of you walking home alone. thought of something The very thought of it makes me feel sick. thought (that…) She was struck by the sudden thought that he might already have left. 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. 2  thoughts [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 somebody not to worry after they have said they are sorry). It's the thought that counts (= used to say that somebody has been very kind even if they have only done something small or unimportant).
  9. intention
  10. 6[uncountable, countable] an intention or a hope of doing something thought (of doing something) She had given up all thought of changing her job. thought (of something) 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
  13. see also think
    Word OriginOld English thōht, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gedachte, also to think.Extra examples A simple thought experiment may serve to illustrate my point. After a moment’s thought, I accepted his offer. An image of his boss came into his mind, but he brushed the thought aside. Before going on stage, I breathe deeply and think positive thoughts. Do you have any final thoughts? Don’t give it another thought. He gave little thought to the impact of his actions on his family. He hesitated, as though he had lost his train of thought. He lay there thinking gloomy thoughts about life and death. He ran into the burning house with no thought for his own life. He remained aloof, thinking his own thoughts. He shook his head to clear his thoughts. He shuddered at the thought of going to the dentist. He was so upset, he was incapable of coherent thought. He’s not the kind of man to keep his thoughts to himself. Her thoughts drifted back to that night. I accepted the offer without a second thought. I can see the comic thought bubble forming over your head. I couldn’t see what thought processes led him to that conclusion. I tried to turn my thoughts to pleasanter things. I’ve just had a thought. It was a comforting thought that at least her father hadn’t suffered. Let me have your thoughts on the report. Let me share a few random thoughts with you. My immediate thought was that he must be joking. My job is so repetitive, it does not require much conscious thought. She is known for her deep thought and intellectual ways. She occupied all his waking thoughts. She often seems to know what I’m thinking, as though she can read my thoughts. She paused to collect her thoughts before speaking. She said she couldn’t bear the thought of living alone in the house. She was deep in thought and didn’t hear me call her. Spare a thought for us—we’ll be working through the night to finish the report. Such a thought never entered my head. Thank you for the flowers—it was a very kind thought. That line of thought can only lead to one conclusion. The article was intended to provoke thought. The children were overjoyed at the thought of going to the seaside on holiday. The constitution guarantees freedom of thought and belief. The mere thought of lice makes my head itch. The thought crossed my mind that Jim might know the answer. There was a thought-provoking article about poverty in the paper. They accused their opponents of being ‘politically correct thought police’. They asked him what his thoughts were on the government’s announcement. They belong to different schools of thought. They had acted rashly, without thought. This is hardly an original thought. We have to give the matter fresh thought. Would Mark be able to help? It’s just a thought. You should give the offer serious thought. patients that are suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts three different strands of scientific thought ‘Why do you think Mark might be able to help?’ ‘It’s just a thought.’ ‘Why don’t you try the other key?’ ‘That’s a thought!’ A good teacher always encourages independent thought. I don’t think he’s given the matter a moment’s thought. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter. Marxist thought remained at the centre of the country’s politics. Political thought went through some major changes during the 19th century. She tried to put the thought out of her mind. She was lost in thought. She was struck by the thought that he might have already left. The very thought of it makes me sick! There isn’t much real evidence relating to early Greek thought. This was a very disturbing thought. We’re studying the history of scientific thought from the 15th century onward. What a horrible thought!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.
    an idea that makes you think seriously and carefully The programme certainly provides plenty of food for thought.
    give (somebody) pause (also give (somebody) pause for thought)
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    (formal) to make somebody think seriously about something or hesitate before doing something Popular resistance to the measures should give the government pause.
    to change your opinion after thinking about something again You’re not having second thoughts about it, are you?
    on second thoughts (British English) (North American English on second thought)
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    used to say that you have changed your opinion I'll wait here. No, on second thoughts, I'll come with you.
    a penny for your thoughts, a penny for them
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    (saying) used to ask somebody what they are thinking about
    (informal or humorous) used to say that you find a suggestion unacceptable or that you hope that something will never happen Me get married? Perish the thought! 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. 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
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    (saying) 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 American Dictionary entry: thought