A pensive woman.
The definition of pensive is feeling sad while deep in thought.
An example of pensive is how one feels after reading a depressing novel.
- thinking deeply or seriously, often of sad or melancholy things
- expressing deep thoughtfulness, often with some sadness
Origin of pensiveMiddle English pensif from Old French from penser, to think, reflect from Classical Latin pensare, to weigh, consider, frequentative of pendere, to ponder, weigh, hang: see pendant
- Engaged in deep and serious thought.
- Showing or expressing deep, often melancholy thought: a pensive look.
Origin of pensiveMiddle English pensif from Old French from penser to think from Latin pēnsāre frequentative of pendere to weigh ; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.
pensive contemplative reflective meditative thoughtful
These adjectives mean characterized by or disposed to thought, especially serious or deep thought. Pensive often connotes a wistful, dreamy, or sad quality: “while pensive poets painful vigils keep” (Alexander Pope). Contemplative implies slow directed consideration, often with conscious intent of achieving better understanding or spiritual or aesthetic enrichment: “The Contemplative Atheist is rare … And yet they seem to be more than they are” (Francis Bacon). Reflective suggests careful analytical deliberation, as in reappraising past experience: “Cromwell was of the active, not the reflective temper” (John Morley). Meditative implies earnest sustained thought: The scholar was reticent, aloof, and meditative. Thoughtful can refer to absorption in thought or to the habit of reflection and circumspection: Thoughtful voters carefully considered the candidates.
(comparative more pensive, superlative most pensive)