American English

Definition of think verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they think
    he / she / it thinks
    past simple thought
    -ing form thinking
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    have opinion/belief
  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) to have a particular idea or opinion about something or someone; to believe something think (that)… Do you think (that) they'll come? I thought I heard a scream. I didn't think you liked sports. Am I right in thinking that you used to live here? I think this is their house, but I'm not sure. He ought to resign, I think. We'll need about 20 chairs,I would think. it is thought that… It was once thought that the sun traveled around the earth. think something (about something) What did you think about the idea? Well, I like it.What do you think? think so “Will we make it in time?” “Ithink so.” “Is he any good?” “Idon't think so.” think somebody/something + adj. Ithink it highly unlikely that I'll get the job. She thought him kind and generous. somebody/something is thought to be somebody/something He's thought to be one of the richest men in America. This pattern is not usually used unless think is in the passive. Language Bankopiniongiving your personal opinion In my opinion, everyone should have some understanding of science. Everyone should, in my opinion, have some understanding of science. It seems to me that many people in this country have a flawed understanding of science. This is, in my view, the result of a failure of the scientific community to get its message across. Another reason why so many people have such a poor understanding of science is, I believe, the lack of adequate funding for science in schools. Smith argues that science is separate from culture. My own view is that science belongs with literature, art, philosophy, and religion as an integral part of our culture. In this writer's opinion, the more the public knows about science, the less they will fear and distrust it.
  2. use mind
  3. 2[intransitive, transitive] to use your mind to consider something, to form connected ideas, to try to solve problems, etc. Are animals able to think? Let me think (= give me time before I answer). think (about something) I can't tell you now—I'll have to think about it. She had thought very deeply about this problem. All he ever thinks about is money. I'm sorry,I wasn't thinking (= said when you have upset or offended someone accidentally). think what, how, etc… He was trying to think what to do.
  4. 3[transitive] (usually used in the progressive tenses) to have ideas, words, or images in your mind think something You're very quiet. What are you thinking? think what, how, etc… I was just thinking what a long way it is. + speech “I must be crazy,” she thought.
  5. imagine
  6. 4[transitive, no passive, intransitive] to form an idea of something; to imagine something think where, how, etc… We couldn't think where you'd gone. Just think how nice it would be to see them again. think (that)… I can't think (that) he would be so stupid. think (something) Just think—we'll be lying on the beach this time tomorrow. If I'm late getting home, my mother always thinks the worst. Try to think yourself into the role. Thesaurusimaginethink see envisionThese words all mean to form an idea in your mind of what someone or something might be like.imagine to form an idea in your mind of what someone or something might be like:The house was just as she had imagined it.think to imagine something that might happen:I can't think of a better place for a wedding. Just think —this time tomorrow we'll be lying on a beach.see to consider something as a future possibility; to imagine someone as something:I can't see her changing her mind. His colleagues see him as a future director.envision to imagine what a situation will be like in the future, especially a situation that you intend to work toward:They envision an equal society, free from poverty and disease. In ten years, I envision myself running my own business. Envision is used especially in business and political contexts.Patterns to imagine/see/envision somebody/something as something to imagine/see/envision (somebody) doing something to be able to imagine/think/see/envision who/what/how… to imagine/think/envision that…
  7. expect
  8. 5[transitive] to expect something think (that)… I never thought (that) I'd see her again. The job took longer than we thought. You'd think she'd have been grateful for my help (= but she wasn't). think to do something (formal) Who would have thought to find you here?
  9. in a particular way
  10. 6[intransitive, transitive] (informal) [no passive] to think in a particular way or on a particular subject + adj. Let's think positive. You need to think big (= aim to achieve a lot). think something If you want to make money, you have to think money.
  11. showing anger/surprise
  12. 7[transitive] think (that)… used in questions to show that you are angry or surprised What do you think you're doing?
  13. being less definite/more polite
  14. 8[transitive, intransitive] used to make something you say sound less definite or more polite think (that)… I thought we could go out tonight. Twenty guests are enough, I would have thought. Do you think you could open the window? think so “You've made a mistake.” “I don't think so.”
  15. intend
  16. 9[transitive, intransitive] think (that…) to intend something; to have a plan about something I think I'll go for a swim. I'm thinking in terms of about 70 guests at the wedding.
  17. remember
  18. 10[transitive] to remember something; to have something come into your mind think to do something I didn't think (= it did not occur to me) to tell her. think where, what, etc… I can't think where I put the keys.
  19. Thesaurusthinkbelieve feel be under the impressionThese words all mean to have an idea that something is true or possible or to have a particular opinion about someone or something.think to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about someone or something:Do you think (that) they'll come? What do you think about Matt's new girlfriend?believe to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about someone or something:Police believe (that) the man may be armed.think or believe?When you are expressing an idea that you have or that someone has of what is true or possible, believe is more formal than think. It is used especially for talking about ideas that other people have;think is used more often for talking about your own ideas:Police believe… I think…When you are expressing an opinion, believe is stronger than think and is used especially for matters of principle;think is used more for practical matters or matters of personal taste.feel to have a particular opinion about something that has happened or about what you/someone ought to do:We all felt (that) we had been under the impression that… to have an idea that something is true:I was under the impression that the work had already been completed.Patterns to think/believe/feel/be under the impression that… It is thought/believed/felt >that…> to be thought/believed/felt >to be>something to think/believe/feel something about somebody/something to sincerely/honestly/seriously/mistakenly think/believe/feelIdioms
    behave/act as if you own the place, think you own the place (disapproving)
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    to behave in a very confident way that annoys other people, for example by telling them what to do
    come to think of it
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    used when you suddenly remember something or realize that it might be important Come to think of it, he did mention seeing you.
    great minds think alike (informal) (humorous)
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    used to say that you and another person must both be very smart because you have had the same idea or agree about something
    I don't think so (informal)
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    used to say very strongly that you do not agree with something, or that something is not possible Me? Fail? I don't think so.
    if/when you think about it
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    used to draw attention to a fact that is not obvious or has not previously been mentioned It was a difficult situation, when you think about it.
    I/I'd like to think
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    used to say that you hope or believe that something is true I like to think I'm broad-minded. I'd like to think that you were helping me because you wanted to, not because you felt you had to.
    I think not (formal)
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    used to say very strongly that you believe something is not true, possible, etc. Was their meeting a coincidence? I think not.
    I thought as much
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    that is what I expected or suspected “He said he'd forgotten.” “I thought as much.”
    let me see/think
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    used when you are thinking or trying to remember something Now let me see—where did he say he lived?
    see/think fit (to do something) (formal)
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    to consider it right or acceptable to do something; to decide or choose to do something You must do as you think fit (= but I don't agree with your decision). The newspaper did not see fit to publish my letter (= and I criticize it for that).
    speak/think ill of somebody (formal)
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    to say or think bad things about someone Don't speak ill of the dead.
    think again
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    to consider a situation again and perhaps change your idea or intention
    think aloud/out loud
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    to say what your thoughts are as you have them
    think (the) better of somebody
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    to have a higher opinion of someone She has behaved appallingly—I must say I thought better of her.
    think better of it/of doing something
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    to decide not to do something after thinking further about it synonym reconsider Rosie was about to protest but thought better of it.
    think nothing of something/of doing something
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    to consider an activity to be normal and not particularly unusual or difficult She thinks nothing of walking thirty miles a day.
    think nothing of it (formal)
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    used as a polite response when someone has said sorry to you or thanked you
    think on your feet
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    to be able to think and react to things very quickly and effectively without any preparation
    think outside (of) the box
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    to think about something, or how to do something, in a way that is new, different, or shows imagination
    think straight
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    to think in a clear or logical way
    think twice about something/about doing something
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    to think carefully before deciding to do something You should think twice about employing someone you've never met.
    think the world, highly, a lot, not much, poorly, little, etc. of somebody/something
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    to have a very good, poor, etc. opinion of someone or something He thinks the world of his daughter. I don't think much of her idea.
    to think (that…)
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    used to show that you are surprised or shocked by something To think that my mother wrote all those books and I never knew!
    Phrasal Verbsthink about/of somebody/somethingthink ahead (to something)think back (to something)think for yourselfthink of something/somebodythink of somethingthink of somebody/something as somebody/somethingthink somethingoutthink somethingoverthink somethingthroughthink somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: think