American English

Definition of contemplate verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they contemplate
    he / she / it contemplates
    past simple contemplated
    -ing form contemplating
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  1. 1[transitive] to think about whether you should do something, or how you should do something synonym consider synonym think about/of contemplate something You're too young to be contemplating retirement. contemplate doing something I have never contemplated living abroad. contemplate how/what, etc… He continued talking while she contemplated how to answer.
  2. 2[transitive] to think carefully about and accept the possibility of something happening contemplate something The thought of war is too awful to contemplate. contemplate how/what, etc… I can't contemplate what it would be like to be alone. contemplate that… She contemplated that things might get even worse.
  3. 3[transitive, intransitive] contemplate (something) (formal) to think deeply about something for a long time to contemplate your future She lay in bed, contemplating.
  4. 4[transitive] contemplate somebody/something (formal) to look at someone or something in a careful way for a long time synonym stare She contemplated him in silence. He sat there, contemplating his fingernails.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: contemplate