Definition of mind in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /mīnd/


1The element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world and their experiences, to think, and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought: as the thoughts ran through his mind, he came to a conclusion people have the price they are prepared to pay settled in their minds
More example sentences
  • My mind, your mind, and the minds of every other conscious being are particular, limited manifestations of this universal mind.
  • For example, the agency instituting repression must be derived from the ego, the conscious part of the mind.
  • We tend to suppose that our conscious mind is in control most of the time.
sanity, mental faculties, senses, wits, reason, reasoning, judgment
informal marbles
1.1A person’s mental processes contrasted with physical action: I wrote a letter in my mind
More example sentences
  • There ensued a process that in my mind took the form of picking teams for netball.
  • After all, it is common knowledge that what goes on in the mind can have physical consequences.
  • She took a few moments to find the normal connections between her mind and her physical body.
2A person’s intellect: his keen mind
More example sentences
  • The Virgo-Virgos have keen intelligence and fine minds.
  • Bob has a keen mind and a wicked sense of humour so add it to your must-view list.
  • An analytical mind and the ability to get on with people is essential.
2.1A person’s memory: the company’s name slips my mind
More example sentences
  • Memories raced through his mind, thoughts of the joy Isaac had brought to his life.
  • Before leaving, take a second look to engrave in your mind and heart the memories of this tranquil place.
  • The eve of St. Patrick's Day 2004 will not leave the minds, hearts and memories of so many people especially her family and her close school friends.
memory, recollection
2.2A person identified with their intellectual faculties: he was one of the greatest minds of his time
More example sentences
  • On July 1, 2003, the faculty at the University of Waterloo will be joined by one of Canada's leading academics and brightest minds.
  • These are a few of the big ideas being vigorously researched and heatedly discussed by some of the brightest minds in academe.
  • I'll leave that to the great intellectual minds to figure out.
3A person’s attention: I expect my employees to keep their minds on the job
More example sentences
  • We have to turn our minds and attention to the serious challenge about what to do about social conditions.
  • What concentrates the mind wonderfully is the knowledge that you must have it and you can't afford it.
  • An atmosphere of frenzied but good-natured co-operation prevails; with so much to get through, our minds are concentrated wonderfully.
attention, thoughts, concentration, attentiveness
3.1The will or determination to achieve something: anyone can lose weight if they set their mind to it
More example sentences
  • He set his mind on achieving black belt status in karate and he did just that in the months and years that were to follow.
  • It's a tall order but Jansen believes his team-mates can achieve their goal if they put their minds to it.
  • It seems Oxford students really can achieve great things when they put their minds to it.


[with object]
1 [often with negative] Be distressed, annoyed, or worried by: I don’t mind the rain
More example sentences
  • Not that he minded her being so worried, it was actually very sweet of her, but it was unhealthy to worry so much.
  • As for the weather, you don't mind if it stays raining all day but we were putting the rain gear on and taking it off all the time.
  • I don't mind when it rains but I hate that thin film drizzle that seems only to be in the air but manages to soak you in next to no time.
1.1Have an objection to: what does that mean, if you don’t mind my asking? [with clause]: do you mind if I have a cigarette?
More example sentences
  • I wondered if he minded me reading them, and decided I didn't care.
  • I do indeed care that he's pro-Europe, although I mind more about his position in BAT.
  • If the people I am visiting really care about my family's health then they do not mind this one small favour.
care, object, be bothered, be annoyed, be upset, take offense, disapprove, dislike it, look askance
informal give a damn, give a hoot
1.2 [with negative or in questions] (mind doing something) Be reluctant to do something (often used in polite requests): I don’t mind admitting I was worried
More example sentences
  • It takes a lot to rattle Ms Garrett, but she doesn't mind admitting she's worried.
  • Don Brash wouldn't have minded paying the dry cleaning bill to get the mud out of his suit, because that particular assault just gave him public sympathy towards his message.
  • Our dog never minds going for his boosters there.
1.3 (would not mind something) informal Used to express one’s strong enthusiasm for something: I wouldn’t mind some coaching from him!
More example sentences
  • I would not mind a fling in the wilderness with said co-worker.
  • Despite a range of food experts claiming that the new product is nothing more than a gimmick, most said they would not mind a spoonful or two.
  • I'm sure our people would not mind a few million dollars spent on tracking down and liquidating these outstanding professionals.
2Regard as important; feel concern about: never mind the opinion polls [no object]: why should she mind about a few snubs from people she didn’t care for?
More example sentences
  • If anyone else said the kind of things he said, they would have been regarded as arrogant, but you didn't mind it from him.
  • He hates the 30 pages of documentation he has to keep to abide by the state regulations, but he doesn't mind the manure injection itself.
  • Peeled garlic is popular with restaurants and consumers too lazy to shuck the small cloves of garlic - and they don't seem to mind the canned flavor.
2.1 [with clausein imperative] dated Used to urge someone to remember or take care to bring about something: mind you look after the children
More example sentences
  • And mind you lock your door.
  • Mind you look where she ended up!
  • I am absolutely knackered, and I suppose I should write this; mind you it's quarter to ten!
be/make sure (that) you, see (that) you;
remember to, don't forget to
2.2 [no object] (also mind you) Used to introduce a qualification to a previous statement: we’ve got some decorations up—not a lot, mind you
More example sentences
  • Not in a lot of detail, mind you, because it was just like every other year we spend here.
  • Not that Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a one star movie, mind you.
  • Not that all of us corgis get along like strawberries and cream, mind you.
2.3 [no object] informal Used to make a command more insistent or to draw attention to a statement: be early to bed tonight, mind
More example sentences
  • You best be nice to her, mind, or you'll be having me to deal with!
2.4North American & Irish Be obedient to: you think about how much Cal does for you, and you mind her, you hear?
More example sentences
  • ‘When your mother returns,’ he said, ‘make sure that you mind her better’.
  • You need to mind me because I love you and know what is best for you.
pay attention to, heed, pay heed to, attend to, take note/notice of, note, mark, listen to, be mindful of;
obey, follow, comply with
2.5Scottish Remember: I mind the time when he lost his false teeth
More example sentences
  • 'I mind the time,' said the first speaker, 'when she would have done the same, and made rare fun of it afterwards.'
  • Do you mind the time you dyed your hair?"
3Take care of temporarily: we left our husbands to mind the children while we went out
More example sentences
  • Honestly, he's so kind and if you got held up on your way to pick up the kids he would take special care to mind them till you got there.
  • One thing is recommended is to leave the husband at home to mind the children!
  • In other words, the husband stays home to mind the kids while his wife earns the bacon.
look after, take care of, keep an eye on, attend to, care for, tend, babysit
3.1 [in imperative] Used to warn someone to avoid injury or damage from a hazard: mind your head on that cupboard!
More example sentences
  • The tape warned me to mind my head, as during these times people had been smaller.
  • Just mind out, there's an ants' nest there, just move over.
be careful of, watch out for, look out for, beware of, be on one's guard for, be wary of
3.2 [in imperative] Be careful about the quality or nature of: mind your manners!
More example sentences
  • I have no social plans for this weekend, I'm eating more simply, I got lots of sleep last night and so that just leaves minding my manners and everything should go swimmingly.
  • Bringing a set of darts to an interview could be viewed as a warning to lairy journalists to mind their manners, but not with Meadows.
  • Then at the restaurant one has to mind one's manners, no slurping, grunting, farting or burping.
4 [with infinitive] (be minded) chiefly formal Be inclined or disposed to do a particular thing: he was minded to reject the application the Board was given leave to object if it was so minded
More example sentences
  • Harrogate planners at a subsequent meeting determined that they were minded to reject the plan anyway.
  • He was entertaining, too, if he was so minded.
  • I'm not particularly minded to watch whales myself, but I suppose it beats working for a living.



be of two minds

Be unable to decide between alternatives.
Example sentences
  • I was in two minds whether to write this blog or not.
  • After the tsunami, they were in two minds about the trip, but finally decided to not only undertake the journey but also make common cause with the victims.
  • When I was at York School of Art, I was in two minds about whether to go into graphics or theatre design.
be undecided, be uncertain, be unsure, hesitate, waver, vacillate, hem and haw

be of one (or a different) mind

Share the same (or hold a different) opinion.
Example sentences
  • The Cabinet must be of one mind, and it could be of one mind only when all the members come through the Prime Minister and look up to him and not to the House for their sanction.
  • We may not be of one mind on several issues, but we share one faith, one baptism, one Lord and Savior of us all.
  • He believed that they were of one mind when it came to dealing forthrightly with the news media.
opinion, way of thinking, outlook, attitude, view, viewpoint, point of view

bear (or keep) in mind

Remember and take into account: [with clause]: you need to bear in mind that the figures vary from place to place
More example sentences
  • Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.
  • Keep in mind that rates for personal jewelry insurance may vary according to your state or country.
take into account, take into consideration, remember, consider, be mindful, mind, mark, heed
remember, note, be mindful of, take note of

close one's mind to

Refuse to consider or acknowledge.
Example sentences
  • I don't think you should ever close your mind to what people can offer.
  • What this means is that he has chosen to ignore or shut his mind to information which should have led him to believe (not merely suspect) that the allegation is false.
  • I shut my mind to the terrible sights all around me.

come (or spring) to mind

(Of a thought or idea) occur to someone.
Example sentences
  • Carry a notebook so you can jot down ideas that spring to mind.
  • It's where I find ideas coming to mind in an uncluttered, unhurried way, without pressure or contrivance.
  • Mind you, the thought does spring to mind that perhaps they should not have been paid this increase if they did not sign up to the full deal.

don't mind if I do

informal Used to accept an invitation.
Example sentences
  • ‘In that case, don't mind if I do,’ and the blonde dived towards Sato.
  • Suddenly a grenade landed next to him, ‘Oh, don't mind if I do.’
  • ‘Thank you, don't mind if I do,’ and Francis took a seat in one of the two chairs in front of Henry's desk.

give someone a piece of one's mind

Tell someone what one thinks of them, especially in anger.
Example sentences
  • They should be very lucky I've worked tech support before because I am so ready to give them a piece of my mind.
  • I have wanted to climb out of my car numerous times and give them a piece of my mind.
  • But after they criticised Natalie's performance her sister decided to give them a piece of her mind.

have a (or a good or half a) mind to do something

Be very much inclined to do something: I’ve a good mind to write to the manager to complain
More example sentences
  • Good lord, I have half a mind to send this to your boss.
  • I have half a mind to go ahead and quit my day job, sell everything I own for a one-way ticket to the Middle East, and hold out for the Grand Prize.
  • I have half a mind to suggest to the tourist people that they should designate our roadworks as visitor attractions.
inclination, desire, wish, urge, notion, fancy, intention, will

have someone or something in mind

Be thinking of.
Example sentences
  • Everyone is thought to be after something, everyone is thought to have some particular goal in mind, independent of the goal that he or she happens to articulate.
  • I'm leaning towards some kind of biography but I have no particular subject in mind.
  • He obviously had this particular project in mind for some time, and had given a great deal of thought to what he wanted to accomplish.
think of, contemplate;
intend, plan, propose, desire, want, wish
9.1Intend: I had it in mind to ask you to work for me
More example sentences
  • Even so, it was a bit of a blow to be dropped for the Scottish match, though Eddie probably had it in mind to give Johnny O'Connor a game.
  • He was bottling things up, had it in mind to do something to himself.
  • Anyway, I've looked and if you had it in mind to bring down Big Ben you'd be better off with an aircraft.

have a mind of one's own

Be capable of independent opinion or action.
Example sentences
  • Just cause he's my brother doesn't mean he doesn't have a mind of his own and isn't entitled to his own opinions.
  • Yes, but she has a mind of her own and is too independent for most men's taste.
  • Why should I be punished for having a mind of my own, and the will to express it?
10.1(Of an inanimate object) seem capable of thought and intention, especially by behaving contrary to the will of the person using it: the shopping cart had a mind of its own
More example sentences
  • Just like supermarket trolleys, baggage trolleys have a mind of their own.
  • Storm is a very emotive word for the viewer and they tend to have a mind of their own anyway.
  • The cost wasn't prohibitive but Italian websites have a mind of their own.

in one's mind's eye

In one’s imagination or mental view.
Example sentences
  • I can imagine, in my mind's eye, the process of how Excoffon may have developed a final pictograph.
  • He shut his eyes and tried to imagine the scene in his mind's eye as he knew it ought to look.
  • He took another, and pictured a crystal clear pool in his mind's eye.

mind over matter

The use of willpower to overcome physical problems.
Example sentences
  • In this concrete sense, the starving cult members assert the pre-eminence of mind over matter, wreaking catastrophe in their emaciated wake when the novel's various strands converge climactically in 1960s-style student riots.
  • Someone once told me that it was just mind over matter and I shouldn't be on drugs, and that if I were strong-minded enough, I wouldn't need them.
  • Quality over quantity, skill over strength, mind over matter - the comparisons just don't end for Cherwell's heroic 4-2 victory against all the odds.

mind one's own business

Refrain from prying or interfering.
Example sentences
  • I asked him once if that was true, if he really was once a royal guard but he scolded me and told me to mind my own business.
  • He told her to be silent and mind her own business.

mind one's Ps & Qs

Be careful to behave well and avoid giving offense.
Of unknown origin; said by some to refer to the care a young student must take in differentiating the tailed letters p and q
Example sentences
  • As such, the stealth stingers tell the bipeds to buzz off and mind their Ps & Qs before the bees make 'em R.I.P.
  • As a little girl, I was told to ‘mind your p's and q's’ and ‘be a lady’ because I was quite the tomboy.
  • He's normally a quiet, sensitive little thing (just like his mum) who minds his Ps and Qs and keeps himself to himself.

mind the store

informal Have charge of something temporarily.
Example sentences
  • Cowdery brushes that aside, saying he will concentrate on scouting out new acquisitions, while Thompson minds the shop.
  • You have drawn our attention to a whole raft of issues which your inspection has brought to light, and I can only conclude that minding the shop, from whatever perspective you accommodate, needs greater attention.
  • What Labour fears is that contentment has bred complacency; voters perceive prosperity as the natural order of things and decide that it will continue no matter who is minding the shop.

never mind

1Used to urge someone not to feel anxiety or distress: never mind—it’s all right now
More example sentences
  • But never mind, we are not worrying about the logic as we work through all of this.
  • Hoping N, R and A will still come, but never mind, the important thing is that It will be the Return of £1 a pint Night and me and MH's nights at the pub watching the Football!
don't apologize, forget it, don't worry about it, it doesn't matter
1.1Used to suggest that a problem or objection is not important: that’s getting off the subject, but never mind
More example sentences
  • But never mind; that's not important to the DC In A Nutshell theme here.
  • Ah, never mind that… That is not important right now.
  • Actually, I was a little ticked off during most of it because… ah, never mind, it's not important, it's just my dad.
don't bother about, don't worry about, disregard, forget
2 (also never you mind) Used in refusing to answer a question: never mind where I’m going
More example sentences
  • And I didn't want to go to the pokey for - well, never you mind what I could go to the pokey for.
  • My husband and I have been voluntarily using them to set a germ-free example, and it's not all that bad, especially if you use the kind with the oh, never you mind!
  • He's got his own problems, never you mind.
3Used to indicate that what has been said of one thing applies even more to another: he was so tired that he found it hard to think, never mind talk
More example sentences
  • But he has now gone seven years without the world championship and has not indicated a serious intention to wind down, never mind quit.
  • Hazarding a look up, I forget to breathe, never mind the coffee thing.
  • What would have been appropriate for a 1960s flower-power couple is probably not what a Victorian family would have had in mind, never mind a child of the 21st century.

not pay someone any mind

North American Not pay someone any attention.
Example sentences
  • They didn't pay me any mind until after Rich and I performed live on stage (we DJ on the floor, so we're out of view).
  • Oh come on I can see that it bothers you that he doesn't pay you any mind anymore.
  • They're only doing it to get under your fur, so please, don't pay them any mind.

on someone's mind

Preoccupying someone, especially in a disquieting way: new parents have many worries on their minds
More example sentences
  • And I was asking the soldiers, you know, what was on your mind - what was on their mind.
  • This worry has been on my mind all the time, it's a shame I did not say no right at the start.
  • She still looked worried though, like she had troubled thoughts on her mind that she wasn't sure she could talk about.

an open mind

The readiness to consider something without prejudice.
Example sentences
  • I ask Sue and the other members of the society to please consider my response with an open mind.
  • This group of people should consider keeping an open mind and really work at it.
  • Perhaps they won't come to it with an open mind at all and will be angry that I got it all wrong.

open one's mind to

Be receptive to: he opened his mind to the ways of the rest of the world
More example sentences
  • You just get to taste everything, and it really opens your mind to what's out there.
  • It's not necessarily that I understand all of it or believe all of it for sure, but it's opening my mind to so many more possibilities.
  • Your magazine has surely opened my mind to more reasons.

out of one's mind

Having lost control of one’s mental faculties.
Example sentences
  • As time goes by, the community simply sees Mala as a crazy old woman: not only out of touch but out of her mind.
  • The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one's mind, is the condition of the normal man.
  • The truck driver, in a green shirt, paced the cordoned off area, obviously distraught and somewhat out of his mind.
informal21.1 Suffering from a particular condition to a very high degree: she was bored out of her mind
More example sentences
  • Well you always say no, even though its obvious you're bored out of your mind.
  • Besides the fact that you're scared out of your mind that this plot will come crashing down upon your ears?
  • Some of what I see at first hand among young people in the disco and night club scene would frighten you out of your mind,’ he added.
frantic, beside oneself, distraught, in a frenzy

put someone in mind of

Resemble and so cause someone to think of or remember: he was a small, well-dressed man who put her in mind of a jockey
More example sentences
  • It puts me in mind of when I spent time in Ulster a few years ago.
  • But it put me in mind of how essentially childish these office parties are.
  • The phenomenon puts me in mind of that famous Palestinian pastime of coming up with a magical solution to the ‘Palestinian problem’, as though it were a riddle that required a single original answer.
remind of, recall, conjure up, suggest;
resemble, look like

put (or set) one's mind to

Direct all one’s attention to (achieving something): she’d have made an excellent dancer, if she’d have put her mind to it
More example sentences
  • But I'm not surprised - everything Carol has set her mind to achieving, she's accomplished.
  • If you put your mind to what you want out of life, and focus your energy on it, she says, there's no reason why good things shouldn't happen.
  • She showed them what they could achieve if they just put their mind to it, pulled themselves out of the gutter and developed incredibly arrogant and over entitled attitudes.

put someone/something out of one's mind

Deliberately forget someone or something.
Example sentences
  • I simply put the pain out of my mind and forgot about it.
  • Then maybe it would have been easier to put it out of my mind and just get on with life; to forget what I was waiting for and be able to enjoy it when it eventually came along.
  • Robert shrugged and put the goblins out of his mind.

to my mind

In my opinion: this story is, to my mind, a masterpiece
More example sentences
  • In the whole of my life I have only ever seen three people who, to my mind, moved with true freedom and grace on stage.
  • To call a person a liar, is, to my mind, the most serious and damning thing that a person can do.
  • So the practical position seems, to my mind, to be clear: such a programme should not at present go ahead.


Old English gemynd 'memory, thought,' of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root meaning 'revolve in the mind, think', shared by Sanskrit manas and Latin mens 'mind'.

  • English mind shares its ancient root with Latin mens ‘mind’, from which demented (mid 17th century), mental (Late Middle English), and mention derive. The mind can do many wonderful things, including ‘boggling’. The phrase the mind boggles, meaning that someone becomes astonished or overwhelmed at the thought of something, is first recorded in the 1890s. Boggle itself is probably a dialect word related to bogle ‘a phantom or goblin’ and bogey ‘an evil or mischievous spirit’. Someone may have warned you to mind your Ps and Qs, ‘be careful to behave well and avoid giving offence’. The expression has been known since the 1770s, but its exact origins are uncertain. One obvious suggestion is that it comes from a child's early days of learning to read and write, when they might find it difficult to distinguish between the two tailed letters p and q. Another idea suggests that printers had to be very careful to avoid confusing the two letters when setting metal type. Mind how you go!, meaning ‘be careful, look after yourself’, has been common in Britain since the 1940s. It was popularized by the long-running BBC TV series Dixon of Dock Green (1955–76), in which it was a catchphrase of the avuncular PC George Dixon, along with evening all.

Words that rhyme with mind

affined, behind, bind, blind, find, hind, humankind, interwind, kind, mankind, nonaligned, resigned, rind, unaligned, unassigned, unconfined, undefined, undersigned, undesigned, unlined, unrefined, unsigned, wynd

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mind

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.