- The definition of contemplate is to look at something, think about something or meditate about something for a long time.
If you sit around for a long time thinking about what will happen if you die, this is an example of when youcontemplate death.
transitive verbcontemplated, contemplating
- to look at intently; gaze at
- to think about intently; study carefully
- to have in mind as a possibility or plan; intend
Origin of contemplate; from Classical Latin contemplatus, past participle of contemplari, to gaze attentively, observe (orig., in augury, to mark out space for observation ; from com-, intensive + templum, temple
verbcon·tem·plat·ed, con·tem·plat·ing, con·tem·plates
- To look at attentively and thoughtfully: “He stood at the hall closet, contemplating his hats” (E. Annie Proulx).
- To consider carefully and at length; meditate on or ponder: contemplated the problem from all sides; contemplated the mysteries of the atom.
- To have in mind as an intention or possibility: contemplate marriage; forced by the accident to contemplate retirement.
Origin of contemplateLatin contemplārī, contemplāt- : com-, intensive pref.; see com– + templum, space for observing auguries; see tem- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present contemplates, present participle contemplating, simple past and past participle contemplated)
- To look at on all sides or in all its aspects; to view or consider with continued attention; to regard with deliberate care; to meditate on; to study, ponder, or consider.
- To consider as a possibility.
- I contemplated doing the project myself, but it would have taken too long.
Attested since the 1590s; from Latin contemplatus (contemplātus), from contemplari (“observe, survey”).