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[kuh n-tem-pluh-tiv, kon-tuh m-pley-, -tem-] /kənˈtɛm plə tɪv, ˈkɒn təmˌpleɪ-, -tɛm-/
given to or characterized by contemplation:
a contemplative mind.
a person devoted to contemplation, as a monk.
1300-50; < Latin contemplātīvus, equivalent to contemplāt(us) (see contemplate) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English contemplatif < Anglo-French < Latin, as above
Related forms
contemplatively, adverb
contemplativeness, noun
noncontemplative, adjective
noncontemplatively, adverb
noncontemplativeness, noun
uncontemplative, adjective
uncontemplatively, adverb
uncontemplativeness, noun
1. thoughtful, reflective, meditative. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for contemplative
  • The idea that college is a contemplative realm of humanistic inquiry, removed from vulgar material needs, is nonsense.
  • Earthy, contemplative colors reflected a new interest in ecology and nature.
  • They don't come from contemplative geniuses sitting alone in their studies, trying to think new thoughts.
  • It was occasioned by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood.
  • The music in this stage of its evolution is inclined to be contemplative and introspective.
  • The range of experiences at these celebrations runs from joyfully loud and spectacular to solemn and contemplative.
  • The site delivers on its promise to be a powerful and a contemplative space.
  • It is quiet, contemplative and impressionistic, which makes the story it has to tell all the more powerful.
  • Measure them out whenever it's convenient: a certain amount of contemplative time goes into preparing stir-fries.
  • Measure them out whenever it is convenient: a certain amount of contemplative time goes into preparing stir-fries.
British Dictionary definitions for contemplative


/ˈkɒntɛmˌpleɪtɪv; -təm-; kənˈtɛmplə-/
denoting, concerned with, or inclined to contemplation; meditative
a person dedicated to religious contemplation or to a way of life conducive to this
Derived Forms
contemplatively, adverb
contemplativeness, noun
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 contemplative

mid-14c., from Old French contemplatif (12c.), from Latin contemplativus, from contemplat-, past participle stem of contemplari (see contemplation).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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