There are 2 main definitions of thought in English:

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thought 1

Pronunciation: /θɔːt/


1An idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind: Maggie had a sudden thought I asked him if he had any thoughts on how it had happened Mrs Oliver’s first thought was to get help
More example sentences
  • She turned back to go back to the living room when a sudden thought entered her mind.
  • It's hard for you to express ideas and thoughts, making conversations short.
  • That probably wasn't the thought going through his mind back in June, though.
idea, notion, line of thinking, belief, concept, conception, conviction, opinion, view, impression, image, perception, mental picture;
feeling, funny feeling, suspicion, sneaking suspicion, hunch
1.1 (one's thoughts) One’s mind or attention: he’s very much in our thoughts and prayers
More example sentences
  • I felt awkward, I wanted them to know they were in my thoughts, but how would I approach them?
  • Despite the distance we felt in this time, I always had her in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Yet, even after all those years that time still remains very much alive in my thoughts.
1.2An act of considering or remembering someone or something: she hadn’t given a thought to Max for some time
More example sentences
  • And have they given a thought to pensioners who have smoked all their lives and go to pubs for good quality food?
  • Also, has anyone given a thought to how a cellphone can be put to positive use in a classroom?
  • He had not given a thought to how his crew might react when they learned of his intentions.
1.3 (usually thought of) An intention, hope, or idea of doing or receiving something: he had given up all thoughts of making London his home
anticipation, expectation, prospect, contemplation, likelihood, possibility, fear
hope, aspiration, ambition, dream;
1.4 [as adverb] (a thought) dated To a small extent; somewhat: those of us who work at home may find our hands a thought freer
2 [mass noun] The action or process of thinking: Sophie sat deep in thought
More example sentences
  • Doctor Conrad strolled over, deep in thought, and sat down on the bed at Danny's feet.
  • She stopped then, dabbed at her eyes, and seemed to be deep in thought for a long moment.
  • Jake watched her slow, steady breathing, and sat deep in thought, elbows resting on his knees.
thinking, reasoning, contemplation, musing, pondering, consideration, reflection, introspection, deliberation, study, rumination, cogitation, meditation, brooding, mulling over, reverie, brown study, concentration, debate, speculation
2.1Careful consideration or attention: I haven’t given it much thought
More example sentences
  • It is a very complicated system, has a lot of merit, but needs a lot of careful thought.
  • Good paths are vital to a garden and deserve a lot of thought and attention.
  • We in the west need to give careful thought as to how we can reduce environmental pollution.
2.2Concern for another’s well-being or convenience: he is carrying on the life of a single man, with no thought for me
More example sentences
  • I read them with great pleasure but with little or no thought for the agony the poet has gone through.
  • Mr Hay said the hackers had spared no thought for his clients trying to trace old friends and colleagues.
  • For a short time there was no thought for the testing path ahead of them as they laughed and joked like any household.
3 [mass noun] The formation of opinions, especially as a philosophy or system of ideas, or the opinions so formed: the freedom of thought and action the traditions of Western thought
More example sentences
  • It is a set of ideas, a body of thought, a system of norms, which has been arranged by certain people at a particular time and place.
  • No one could possibly argue that freedom of opinion, thought and judgment could be expressed in illegal acts.
  • His system of thought had a profound influence on Christian theology and Western philosophy.



don't give it another thought

informal Used to tell someone not to worry when they have apologized for something: ‘I don’t like to feel I let you down, Jane.’ ‘You didn’t let me down. Please don’t give it another thought.’

it's the thought that counts

informal Used to indicate that it is the kindness behind an act that matters, however imperfect or insignificant the act may be: when people give you things that you don’t want, you must remember that it’s the thought that counts
More example sentences
  • It does not matter what the price may be, it's the thought that counts.
  • It's just that I'm keenly aware that it's the thought that counts.
  • A very nice lady who shared my outrage promised to buy me a drink - an easy promise to make on an anonymous message board, but it's the thought that counts.

a second thought

[with negative] More than the slightest consideration: the admiral dismissed the rumour without a second thought
More example sentences
  • I would hope that when the council cabinet meets to consider this, they turn it down without a second thought.
  • Without a second thought, you'd probably compress the file and send it off.
  • My sister was left without this money, the weekend before Christmas, without a second thought.

take thought

dated Reflect or consider: he halted for a while to take thought
More example sentences
  • Nevertheless Joe always lived for the day and never took thought of tomorrow and he could say at the end of his days which ended in poverty, that he had no regrets.
  • The English have a certain power of acting without taking thought.
  • This he does by studying the whole situation, seeing the relation of his community to others, getting light on the present problems from past experiences, and taking thought not only for the immediate present but for the future.

that's a thought!

informal Used to express approval of a comment or suggestion: ‘Why don’t we let that tub fill up with rainwater?’ ‘That’s a thought!’


Old English thōht, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gedachte, also to think.

  • think from Old English:

    The Old English word think is related to thank (Old English) ( see also star) and thought (Old English). Hasty words can land you in trouble, and there is a traditional saying that warns you how to avoid this. Think first and speak afterwards goes back to the 16th century. Another proverb, great minds think alike, dates from the 17th century. They think it's all over, used as the title of a British TV sports quiz, is an extract from one of the most famous sports commentaries ever. Towards the end of extra time in the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany, with England leading 3–2, some spectators spilled on to the pitch as England attacked, thinking that the final whistle had blown. The TV commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme said, ‘They think it's all over’, whereupon Geoff Hurst scored and he continued ‘It is now!’ A think tank is now a body of experts providing ideas, but it was originally a US slang term for the brain, recorded from 1905. A newspaper report in 1964 said that ‘Truman…hoped to live to be 90 but only “if the old think-tank is working”.’ The modern sense appeared in the 1950s. The phrase (on) second thoughts dates from the mid 17th century; lost in thought is early 19th-century; it's the thought that counts is recorded from the 1930s.

Words that rhyme with thought

abort, apport, assort, athwart, aught, besought, bethought, bort, bought, brought, caught, cavort, comport, consort, contort, Cort, court, distraught, escort, exhort, export, extort, fort, fought, fraught, import, methought, misreport, mort, naught, nought, Oort, ought, outfought, port, Porte, purport, quart, rort, short, snort, sort, sought, sport, support, swart, taught, taut, thwart, tort, transport, wart, wrought

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There are 2 main definitions of thought in English:

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thought 2

Pronunciation: /θɔːt/
Past and past participle of think.

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