Definition of contemplation in English:


Syllabification: con·tem·pla·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌkäntəmˈplāSHən


  • 1The action of looking thoughtfully at something for a long time: the road is too busy for leisurely contemplation of the scenery
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    • He most assuredly took on the look of deep and pensive thought, but to this man, all considerations and contemplations had been properly examined.
    • With those words, Juset left the room, softly shutting the door behind her, leaving Tarach to his own thoughts and contemplations once again.
    • He replied and returned to his contemplations, though slightly less concerned.
    viewing, examination, inspection, observation, survey, study, scrutiny
  • 1.1Deep reflective thought: he would retire to his room for study or contemplation
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    • To understand strategy requires deep contemplation and endless study.
    • Arthur does not slip easily into introspection, he is too sprightly a personality for deep contemplation.
    • Airen had been lost in deep concentration and contemplation when she felt something nudge her shoulder.
  • 1.2The state of being thought about or planned.
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    • Should routine laboratory reports made in contemplation of prosecution be inadmissible if the technician does not testify?
    • The case was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning if he stayed out of trouble for six months, the charges would disappear and the file be sealed.
    • An oblong of pebbles and short posts anchored by a gnarled, leafless tree creates the isolated beach where Braidie retreats in contemplation.
  • 1.3Religious meditation.
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    • After hearing the dharma and becoming familiar with it through contemplation and meditation, we are able to take compassion as the basis of our daily activity.
    • It was not for the few who, because of their personal aptitude, should feel drawn to a life of a so-called spiritual meditation and contemplation.
    • It takes on an ambience of solemnity, filled with memory, contemplation, and meditation.
  • 1.4(In Christian spirituality) a form of prayer or meditation in which a person seeks to pass beyond mental images and concepts to a direct experience of the divine.
    More example sentences
    • The rosary is one of the traditional paths of Christian prayer directed to the contemplation of Christ's face.
    • He and the Church are entering a period of reflection, contemplation, and prayer.
    • This leads us into mysticism as the spiritual quality of staying in pure contemplation in the divine presence.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin contemplatio(n-), from the verb contemplari (see contemplate).

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a small amount; a little