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[thawt-fuh l] /ˈθɔt fəl/
showing consideration for others; considerate.
characterized by or manifesting careful thought:
a thoughtful essay.
occupied with or given to thought; contemplative; meditative; reflective:
in a thoughtful mood.
careful, heedful, or mindful:
to be thoughtful of one's safety.
Origin of thoughtful
1150-1200; Middle English; see thought1, -ful
Related forms
thoughtfully, adverb
thoughtfulness, noun
overthoughtful, adjective
overthoughtfully, adverb
overthoughtfulness, noun
unthoughtful, adjective
unthoughtfully, adverb
unthoughtfulness, noun
1. attentive, solicitous. Thoughtful, considerate mean taking thought for the comfort and the good of others. Thoughtful implies providing little attentions, offering services, or in some way looking out for the comfort or welfare of others: It was thoughtful of you to send the flowers. Considerate implies sparing others annoyance or discomfort, and being careful not to hurt their feelings: not considerate of his family. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for thoughtful
  • Her thoughtful expression and strong hands immediately strike the viewer.
  • But if the photographer is thoughtful about how to use the light, magical images can be made.
  • The editors-and the critics themselves-make a strong case for professional and thoughtful criticism.
  • It, too, is a work of an amazingly precise and thoughtful serenity while evoking the quiet outrage of reason abused.
  • He is thoughtful, and simply spends time dreaming in the way his father had always longed to do.
  • He is energetic and thoughtful in his research and vigilant against what should be called cable-channel alarmism.
  • Behind the metal-detector stigma are thoughtful people seeking some atypical thrills.
  • Over the last few months of its development, we've seen beta versions filled with thoughtful and provocative photo stories.
  • He wanted to take similarly thoughtful photos of people he didn't know yet.
  • Sinister and despotic in that it cannot be obeyed and thus makes sinners even of quite thoughtful people.
British Dictionary definitions for thoughtful


considerate in the treatment of other people
showing careful thought
pensive; reflective
Derived Forms
thoughtfully, adverb
thoughtfulness, 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 thoughtful

c.1200, "contemplative," from thought + -ful. Also in Middle English, "prudent; moody, anxious." Meaning "showing consideration for others" is from 1851 (cf. thoughtless.) Related: Thoughtfully; thoughtfulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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