Definition of contemplate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    contemplate

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒntəmpleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntəmpleɪt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they contemplate
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒntəmpleɪt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntəmpleɪt//
     
    he / she / it contemplates
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒntəmpleɪts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntəmpleɪts//
     
    past simple contemplated
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒntəmpleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntəmpleɪtɪd//
     
    past participle contemplated
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒntəmpleɪtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntəmpleɪtɪd//
     
    -ing form contemplating
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒntəmpleɪtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːntəmpleɪtɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1[transitive] to think about whether you should do something, or how you should do something synonym consider, 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 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 somebody/something in a careful way for a long time synonym stare at She contemplated him in silence. He sat there, contemplating his fingernails.
  5. Word Origin late 16th cent.: from Latin contemplat- ‘surveyed, observed, contemplated’, from the verb contemplari, based on templum ‘place for observation’.Extra examples Are you willing to contemplate retraining? He was very depressed and even contemplated suicide. How could you even contemplate such an idea? She contemplated a change of direction in her life She was seriously contemplating moving to Mexico. She was seriously contemplating working abroad. The thought of war was too awful to contemplate. We’re contemplating the possibility of moving house. He’s only 55, but he’s already contemplating retirement. I can’t contemplate what it would be like to be alone.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: contemplate