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pensive

[pen-siv] /ˈpɛn sɪv/
adjective
1.
dreamily or wistfully thoughtful:
a pensive mood.
2.
expressing or revealing thoughtfulness, usually marked by some sadness:
a pensive adagio.
Origin of pensive
1325-1375
1325-75; < French (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. See pension, -ive
Related forms
pensively, adverb
pensiveness, noun
overpensive, adjective
overpensively, adverb
overpensiveness, noun
Synonyms
1. P ensive , meditative , reflective 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. M editative 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. R eflective has a strong implication of orderly, perhaps analytic, processes of thought, usually with a definite goal of understanding: a careful and reflective critic.
Antonyms
1. thoughtless.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pensively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then pensively looking at his fallen foe, “Peace to his ashes,” he said; “he died in harness!”

  • "There's ONE comfort," he remarked, pensively, as she worked.

    Alice Adams Booth Tarkington
  • Kano pensively lifted a plum upon the point of a toothpick and began nibbling at its wrinkled skin.

    The Dragon Painter Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • "Strange that he makes no mention of Valerie" said Marius pensively.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • She turned her head in the reverse direction and pensively studied the sea.

    Little Miss Grouch Samuel Hopkins Adams
  • "You do me a fuller justice than many who have known me longer," said he, pensively.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • "It is very beautiful," said Mrs. Thompson; and she glanced at Enid, who was pensively playing with her breadcrumbs.

    Mrs. Thompson William Babington Maxwell
  • She gazed down at the keys of the piano, touched them pensively.

    The Crimson Tide Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for pensively

pensive

/ˈpɛnsɪv/
adjective
1.
deeply or seriously thoughtful, often with a tinge of sadness
2.
expressing or suggesting pensiveness
Derived Forms
pensively, adverb
pensiveness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pensif, from penser to think, from Latin pensāre to consider; compare pension1
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 pensively

pensive

adj.

late 14c., from Old French pensif "thoughtful, distracted, musing" (11c.), from penser "to think," from Latin pensare "weigh, consider," frequentative of pendere "weigh" (see pendant). Related: Pensively; pensiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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