(feminine); replacing Middle English pensif
< Middle French
(masculine), derivative of penser
to think < Latin pēnsāre
to weigh, consider, derivative of pēnsus,
past participle of pendere.
pensively, adverbpensiveness, nounoverpensive, adjectiveoverpensively, adverboverpensiveness, noun
suggest quiet modes of apparent or real thought. P ensive
, the weakest of the three, suggests dreaminess or wistfulness, and may involve little or no thought to any purpose: a pensive, faraway look.
involves thinking of certain facts or phenomena, perhaps in the religious sense of “contemplation,” without necessarily having a goal of complete understanding or of action: meditative but unjudicial.
has a strong implication of orderly, perhaps analytic, processes of thought, usually with a definite goal of understanding: a careful and reflective critic.