AskDefine | Define thought

Dictionary Definition

think n : an instance of deliberate thinking; "I need to give it a good think"


1 judge or regard; look upon; judge; "I think he is very smart"; "I believe her to be very smart"; "I think that he is her boyfriend"; "The racist conceives such people to be inferior" [syn: believe, consider, conceive]
2 expect, believe, or suppose; "I imagine she earned a lot of money with her new novel"; "I thought to find her in a bad state"; "he didn't think to find her in the kitchen"; "I guess she is angry at me for standing her up" [syn: opine, suppose, imagine, reckon, guess]
3 use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments; "I've been thinking all day and getting nowhere" [syn: cogitate, cerebrate]
4 recall knowledge from memory; have a recollection; "I can't remember saying any such thing"; "I can't think what her last name was"; "can you remember her phone number?"; "Do you remember that he once loved you?"; "call up memories" [syn: remember, retrieve, recall, call back, call up, recollect] [ant: forget]
5 imagine or visualize; "Just think--you could be rich one day!"; "Think what a scene it must have been!"
6 focus one's attention on a certain state; "Think big"; "think thin"
7 have in mind as a purpose; "I mean no harm"; "I only meant to help you"; "She didn't think to harm me"; "We thought to return early that night" [syn: intend, mean]
8 decide by pondering, reasoning, or reflecting; "Can you think what to do next?"
9 ponder; reflect on, or reason about; "Think the matter through"; "Think how hard life in Russia must be these days"
10 dispose the mind in a certain way; "Do you really think so?"
11 have or formulate in the mind; "think good thoughts"
12 be capable of conscious thought; "Man is the only creature that thinks"
13 bring into a given condition by mental preoccupation; "She thought herself into a state of panic over the final exam" [also: thought]thought


1 the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about; "it was not a good idea"; "the thought never entered my mind" [syn: idea]
2 the process of thinking (especially thinking carefully); "thinking always made him frown"; "she paused for thought" [syn: thinking, cerebration, intellection, mentation]
3 the organized beliefs of a period or group or individual; "19th century thought"; "Darwinian thought"
4 a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty; "my opinion differs from yours"; "what are your thoughts on Haiti?" [syn: opinion, sentiment, persuasion, view]thought See think

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a UK /θɔːt/, /TO:t/
  • a US /θɑt/, /TAt/
  • Rhymes: -ɔːt




  1. an idea; an instance of thinking.
  2. the state or condition of thinking.
    • The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory. —Paul Fix
  3. A particular way of thinking-that associated with a group, nation or region.
    • "Eastern thought".


an idea
  • Bulgarian: мисъл, идея
  • Czech: myšlenka
  • Danish: tanke
  • Dutch: gedachte, idee
  • Esperanto: penso
  • Ewe: susu
  • Finnish: ajatus, idea
  • French: idée
  • German: Gedanke
  • Greek: σκέψη (sképsi)
  • Hebrew:
  • Hungarian: gondolat
  • Icelandic: hugmynd
  • Italian: idea
  • Japanese: 考え, 意見, 考慮, 思考, 思索, 意図
  • Latvian: doma
  • Lithuanian: mintis
  • Old English: gehygd
  • Persian: (fekr)
  • Polish: myśl
  • Portuguese: pensamento
  • Russian: мысль (mysl’)
  • Slovak: myšlienka
  • Slovene: misel
  • Swedish: idé, tanke
the state or condition of thinking


  1. past of think

Extensive Definition

Thought and thinking are mental forms and processes, respectively ("thought" is both.) Thinking allows beings to model the world and to deal with it effectively according to their objectives, plans, ends and desires. Words referring to similar concepts and processes include cognition, sentience, consciousness, idea, and imagination.
Thinking involves the cerebral manipulation of information, as when we form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions.
Thinking is a higher cognitive function and the analysis of thinking processes is part of cognitive psychology.

Basic process

The basic mechanics of the human brain cells reflect a process of pattern matching or rather recognition. In a "moment of reflection", new situations and new experiences are judged against recalled ones and judgements are made. In order to make these judgements, the intellect maintains present experience and sorts relevant past experience. It does this while keeping present and past experience distinct and separate. The intellect can mix, match, merge, sift, and sort concepts, perceptions, and experience. This process is called reasoning. Logic is the science of reasoning. The awareness of this process of reasoning is access consciousness (see philosopher Ned Block).

Aids to thinking

  1. Use of models, symbols, diagrams and pictures.
  2. Use of abstraction to simplify the effort of thinking.
  3. Use of metasyntactic variables to simplify the effort of naming.
  4. Use of iteration and recursion to converge on a concept.
  5. Limitation of attention to aid concentration and focus on a concept. Use of peace and quiet to aid concentration.
  6. Goal setting and goal revision. Simply letting the concept percolate in the subconscious, and waiting for the concept to re-surface.
  7. Talking with like-minded people. Resorting to communication with others, if this is allowed.
  8. Working backward from the goal.
  9. Desire for learning.
  10. Always be objective.


  1. Self-delusions: inability to confront relevant issues (roadblocks).
  2. Prejudice can lead to flawed thinking


  • Eric Baum (2004). What is Thought, Chapter Two: The Mind is a Computer Program. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-02548-5
thought in Arabic: فكر
thought in Catalan: Pensament
thought in German: Denken
thought in Estonian: Mõtlemine
thought in Spanish: Pensamiento (mente)
thought in Esperanto: Pensado
thought in Persian: فكر
thought in French: Pensée
thought in Galician: Pensamento
thought in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Pensamento
thought in Indonesian: Pikiran
thought in Italian: Pensiero
thought in Icelandic: Hugsun
thought in Hebrew: חשיבה
thought in Latin: Cogitatio
thought in Latvian: Domāšana
thought in Lithuanian: Mintis
thought in Hungarian: Szellem
thought in Macedonian: Мисла
thought in Dutch: Denken
thought in Norwegian: Tenke
thought in Japanese: 思考
thought in Korean: 생각
thought in Polish: Myślenie
thought in Portuguese: Pensamento
thought in Russian: Мышление (психология)
thought in Albanian: Mendimi
thought in Simple English: Thought
thought in Serbian: Размишљање
thought in Finnish: Ajattelu
thought in Swedish: Tänkande
thought in Turkish: Düşünce
thought in Ukrainian: Думка
thought in Yiddish: טראכטן
thought in Chinese: 思维

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Parthian shot, accommodatingness, address, admonition, advertence, advertency, advice, advising, advocacy, affirmation, agreeableness, alertness, allegation, answer, antelope, anticipation, apostrophe, apprehension, arrow, assertion, assiduity, assiduousness, association, association of ideas, assumption, attention, attention span, attentiveness, attitude, averment, awareness, bit, blue darter, blue streak, brainstorm, brainwork, briefing, brooding, brown study, cannonball, care, cast, caution, caveat, cerebration, certainty, chain of thought, climate of opinion, cogitation, cogitative, cognitive, comment, common belief, community sentiment, compassion, complaisance, conceit, concentrating, concentration, concentrative, concept, conception, conceptive, conceptual, conceptualized, concern, conclusion, confidence, consciousness, consensus gentium, considerateness, consideration, considering, consultation, contemplating, contemplation, contemplative, council, counsel, courser, crack, current of thought, dart, dash, declaration, deliberating, deliberation, deliberative, delicacy, design, dictum, diligence, direction, dream, eagle, ear, earnestness, electricity, estimate, estimation, ethos, exclamation, excogitating, exhortation, expectancy, expectation, expostulation, express train, expression, eye, fancy, feeling, flash, flow of thought, gazelle, general belief, gleam, greased lightning, greeting, greyhound, guidance, hare, heed, heedfulness, helpfulness, hint, hope, hortation, idea, ideative, image, imago, imminence, impression, indulgence, infusion, inkling, inmost thoughts, instruction, intellect, intellection, intellectual object, intelligence, intention, intentiveness, intentness, interjection, intimation, introspective, jet plane, judgment, kindliness, kindness, leniency, lick, light, lightning, lights, little, look, meditating, meditation, meditative, memories, memory, memory-trace, mental, mental image, mental impression, mentation, mention, mercury, mind, mindfulness, monition, museful, musing, mystique, noetic, note, notice, notion, obligingness, observance, observation, opinion, parley, pensive, perception, personal judgment, phrase, plan, planning, point of view, pondering, popular belief, position, posture, prehensive, presumption, prevailing belief, probability, pronouncement, proposal, prospect, public belief, public opinion, question, quicksilver, ratiocination, rationality, reaction, reason, reasoning, recept, recommendation, reflecting, reflection, reflective, regard, regardfulness, reliance, remark, remembrances, remonstrance, representation, respect, rocket, ruminant, ruminating, rumination, ruminative, sauce, say, saying, scared rabbit, scheme, scintilla, seasoning, secret thoughts, sentence, sentiment, serious, shade, shadow, shot, sight, sip, smack, small amount, smattering, smell, sober, solicitousness, solicitude, soupcon, spark, speculation, speculative, spice, sprinkling, stance, statement, streak, streak of lightning, stream of consciousness, striped snake, subjoinder, suggestion, sup, supposition, suspicion, swallow, sympathy, tact, tactfulness, taint, taste, tempering, tenderness, theory, thinking, thoughtful, thoughtfulness, thoughts, thunderbolt, tinct, tincture, tinge, tint, toleration, torrent, touch, trace, train of thought, trifle, unastonishment, utterance, vestige, view, vision, warning, way of thinking, wind, wistful, word
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