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[kon-tuh m-pleyt, -tem-] /ˈkɒn təmˌpleɪt, -tɛm-/
verb (used with object), contemplated, contemplating.
to look at or view with continued attention; observe or study thoughtfully:
to contemplate the stars.
to consider thoroughly; think fully or deeply about:
to contemplate a difficult problem.
to have as a purpose; intend.
to have in view as a future event:
to contemplate buying a new car.
verb (used without object), contemplated, contemplating.
to think studiously; meditate; consider deliberately.
Origin of contemplate
1585-95; < Latin contemplātus past participle of contemplāre, contemplārī to survey, observe, equivalent to con- con- + templ(um) space marked off for augural observation, temple + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
contemplatingly, adverb
contemplator, noun
precontemplate, verb, precontemplated, precontemplating.
recontemplate, verb, recontemplated, recontemplating.
uncontemplated, adjective
1. gaze at, behold, regard, survey. 2. study, ponder. 3. design, plan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contemplating
  • contemplating the heavens has earthly benefits, he adds.
  • From the back of the truck one day, he yelled to colleagues riding in the cab about a new experiment he was contemplating.
  • They bumble along through life never really contemplating the life they live unaware in difficult to define ways.
  • These are factors to be weighed by one contemplating suicide.
  • contemplating relocation seems to rule out new romantic relationship possibilities.
  • But this is a lesson to any company that is contemplating crowdsourcing to choose the parameters with care.
  • Of course, mostly the people who will listen to these family histories are already family, or contemplating marrying into it.
  • Mum and me tend to go there before contemplating anything else.
  • The government has also been contemplating a new museum of communism.
  • Publishers and publicists are contemplating what the next best show for promoting their products will be.
British Dictionary definitions for contemplating


/ˈkɒntɛmˌpleɪt; -təm-/
verb (mainly transitive)
to think about intently and at length; consider calmly
(intransitive) to think intently and at length, esp for spiritual reasons; meditate
to look at thoughtfully; observe pensively
to have in mind as a possibility: to contemplate changing jobs
Derived Forms
contemplator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin contemplāre, from templumtemple1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contemplating



1590s, from Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari "survey, observe" (see contemplation). Related: Contemplated; contemplating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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