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

      

    think

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//θɪŋk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//θɪŋk//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they think
    BrE BrE//θɪŋk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//θɪŋk//
     
    he / she / it thinks
    BrE BrE//θɪŋks//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//θɪŋks//
     
    past simple thought
    BrE BrE//θɔːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//θɔːt//
     
    past participle thought
    BrE BrE//θɔːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//θɔːt//
     
    -ing form thinking
    BrE BrE//ˈθɪŋkɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈθɪŋkɪŋ//
     
     
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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/somebody; 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 should think. it is thought that… It was once thought that the sun travelled 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?’ ‘I think so.’ ‘Is he any good?’ ‘I don't think so.’ think somebody/something + adj. I think 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 Europe. Synonymsthinkbelieve feel reckon be under the impressionThese words all mean to have an idea that something is true or possible or to have a particular opinion about somebody/​something.think to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about somebody/​something:Do you think (that) they’ll come? Well, I like it. What do you think?believe to have an idea that something is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about somebody/​something:Police believe (that) the man may be armed.think or believe?When you are expressing an idea that you have or that somebody 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/​somebody ought to do:We all felt (that) we were unlucky to lose.reckon (informal) to think that something is true or possible:I reckon (that) I’m going to get that job.be 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/​reckon/​be under the impression that… It is thought/​believed/​reckoned that… to be thought/​believed/​felt/​reckoned to be something to think/​believe/​feel something about somebody/​something to sincerely/​honestly/​seriously/​mistakenly think/​believe/​feel Express YourselfAsking for somebody’s opinion and involving others in a conversationIn a meeting or a discussion you may need to find out what other people think. In some exams, you have to show that you can control the conversation by asking for contributions from the examiner. I would say it’s OK in the city, but not in the country. What do you think? My feeling is that we could improve our performance. Do you agree with that? What would you say if we waited another month? What about you? Do you cycle? Which place do you think is more dangerous? The traffic’s going faster there, isn't it?/don't you think? Would you say that traffic's going faster there? So this would be a better option, right?(North American English, informal) Express YourselfSpeculatingIn some exams, you have to talk about what you can see in a picture and speculate about the situation or a wider issue prompted by the picture. These are ways of saying what you think might be the case: I think it's likely that these people know each other. I imagine she's his wife. They might/​may/​could be related.(British English or formal, North American English) I would think/​imagine/​guess they've been waiting for some time.(British English) I guess that the car has broken down.(North American English) I think this has probably happened before. It looks to me as though the woman is very angry. Perhaps/​Probably/​Possibly/​It may be that/​Maybe there has been an accident.(British English or formal, North American English) Language Bankaccording toReporting someone’s opinion Photography is, according to Vidal, the art form of untalented people. For Vidal, photography is the art form of untalented people. His view is that photography is not art but merely the mechanical reproduction of images. Smith takes the view that photography is both an art and a science. In Brown’s view, photography should be treated as a legitimate art in its own right. James is of the opinion that a good painter can always be a good photographer if he or she so decides. Emerson believed that a photograph should only reflect what the human eye can see. 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 poor 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 know 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 somebody 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 home, my mother always thinks the worst. Try to think yourself into the role. Synonymsimaginethink see envisage envisionThese words all mean to form an idea in your mind of what somebody/​something might be like.imagine to form an idea in your mind of what somebody/​something might be like:The house was just as she had imagined it.think to imagine something that might happen or might have happened:We couldn’t think where you’d gone. Just think—this time tomorrow we’ll be lying on a beach.see to consider something as a future possibility; to imagine somebody as something:I can’t see her changing her mind. His colleagues see him as a future director.envisage (especially British English) to imagine what will happen in the future:I don’t envisage working with him again. The usual word for this in American English is envision (see below).envision to imagine what a situation will be like in the future, especially a situation that you intend to work towards:They envision an equal society, free from poverty and disease. Envision is used especially in business and political contexts. In North American English it is also used as another form of the word envisage:I don’t envision working with him again.Patterns to imagine/​see/​envisage/​envision somebody/​something as something to imagine/​see/​envisage/​envision (somebody) doing something to imagine/​think/​see/​envisage/​envision who/​what/​how… to imagine/​think/​envisage/​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've got 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. Word Origin Old English thencan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German denken.Extra examples Did you honestly think I would agree to that? He seemed to have lost the ability to think rationally. I hate to think what would have happened if we hadn’t arrived. I never thought you would carry out your threat. I often think of Jane. I personally think it’s all been a lot of fuss over nothing. I still don’t know what he really thinks about it. I suddenly thought of a way I could help. I’m inclined to think we’ve been a little harsh on her. She thought long and hard before accepting his offer. That’s my opinion, but you might think otherwise. The drugs were affecting her and she couldn’t think straight. Think about what you are going to do next. What can I do now? he thought frantically. What did you think of the film? You need to think big if you want to run this business. You really should think again about that. ‘Is he any good?’ ‘I don’t think so.’ ‘Will we make it in time?’ ‘I think so.’ Am I right in thinking that you used to live here? Do you think (that) they’ll come? He’s thought to be one of the richest men in Europe. I can’t tell you now—I’ll have to think about it. I can’t think (that) he would be so stupid. I didn’t think you liked sports. I never thought (that) I’d see her again. I think it highly unlikely that I’ll get the job. I think this is their house, but I’m not sure. I’m sorry, I wasn’t thinking. It was once thought that the sun travelled around the earth. Just think —this time tomorrow we’ll be lying on a beach. Let me think. We couldn’t think where you’d gone. We’ll need about 20 chairs, I should think. Well, I like it. What do you think? You’d think she’d have been grateful for my help. You’re very quiet. What are you thinking?Idioms
    behave/act as if you own the place, think you own the place
     
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    (disapproving) to behave in a very confident way that annoys other people, for example by telling them what to do
    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
     
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    (informal, humorous) used to say that you and another person must both be very clever because you have had the same idea or agree about something
    (informal) 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.
    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. that is what I expected or suspected ‘He said he'd forgotten.’ ‘I thought as much.’  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)
     
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    (formal) 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
     
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    (formal) to say or think bad things about somebody Don't speak ill of the dead.
    to consider a situation again and perhaps change your idea or intention 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 somebody 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.
    (formal) used as a polite response when somebody has said sorry to you or thanked you to be able to think and react to things very quickly and effectively without any preparation to think about something, or how to do something, in a way that is new, different or shows imagination 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, poorly, little, etc. of somebody/something
     
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    to have a very good, poor, etc. opinion of somebody/something He thinks the world of his daughter. I don't think much of her idea.
    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 somebodythink ahead (to something)think back (to something)think for yourselfthink of somebodythink of somethingthink of somebody as somebodythink somethingoutthink somethingoverthink somethingthroughthink somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: think