Thought Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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If you ask us, The Thinker (AKA, Le Penseur) is one of the most iconic sculptures known to man. 

Originally a part of Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, The Thinker depicts a nude male who is clearly absorbed in thought (θɑːt, THôt). That said, what exactly does the word thought mean, and where did it come from? We’ll tell you. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the English word thought, including its definition, origin, synonyms, and more.  

What Is the Definition of Thought?

If you look to trusted sources like the Cambridge English Dictionary, you will see our word of the day, thought, can be used as both a noun and a verb. 

As a verb, thought is simply the past tense and past participle of think

As a noun, thought has quite a few more definitions: 

  • The process of thinking or act of thinking — Reflection, cogitation, and mediation are all synonyms for thought when used in this sense.
  • Mental engrossment — As in, “Margaret was lost deep in thought;” synonymous with concentration and preoccupation.
  • The power of conceiving ideas or the power of reasoning and the capacity for thinking — Used here, thought is synonymous with words like imagination and intellect. 
  • Expectation or intention — For instance, “Christopher had no thought of going to that party.”
  • The principles, opinions, and/or ideas prevalent at a particular time, among a given people, or at a particular place — For example, it has been noted that Aristotle’s scientific thoughts and theories had dominated Western thought for hundreds of years.
  • To give consideration or attention, to pay heed — An example of this would be, “Please give it a moment’s thought if you want to take the position or not.”
  • A small degree or small amount — Synonymous with words like little or trifle. For example, “Could you please be a thought more careful next time as we can’t afford any more mistakes.” 
  • A result of thinking — Synonymous with words like concept, opinion, and idea.

What Is Origin of the Word Thought?

The history behind our word of the day is a bit unclear, but it is believed to have been first noted well before the 12th century. 

The word thought as we currently use it in the English language is a derivative of Old English thōht. It is akin to Old English thencan as well as Dutch gedachte.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Thought?

Now that you understand what our word of the day means, let’s take a look at some synonyms and antonyms.


  • Cogitation 
  • Introspection 
  • Mulling over 
  • Remark
  • Big picture
  • Comment
  • Sweat of one’s brow
  • Two cents’ worth
  • Consideration
  • Master plan
  • Deliberation
  • Reflection
  • Thought process 
  • Attention 
  • Obiter dictum
  • Dream
  • Bon mot 
  • Concern
  • Game plan
  • Sympathy
  • Empathy
  • Course of action
  • Mental activity
  • Backtalk
  • Forethought
  • Pre-planning 
  • Make-believe 
  • Daydream
  • Imagination
  • Fantasy
  • Train of thought 
  • Vision
  • Creation of the brain
  • Navel-gazing 
  • Accepted wisdom 
  • Heed 
  • Line of thinking 
  • Hunch 
  • Observation
  • Caprice 
  • Imaginative faculty 
  • Perception 
  • Whys and wherefores
  • Conjecture 
  • Plan of action
  • Process of reasoning 
  • Pipe dream 
  • Line of thought
  • Action plan 
  • Mindfulness 
  • Good sense 
  • Fastidiousness 
  • Line of reasoning 
  • View
  • Why and wherefore
  • Belief
  • Flight of fancy
  • Pondering
  • Good manners
  • Good behavior 
  • Raison d’être 
  • Chain of reasoning
  • Brainwork 


  • Indifference
  • Apathy
  • Disinterest
  • Inattention
  • Uninterest
  • Torpor
  • Dispassionateness
  • Innocuousness
  • Oversight
  • Lack of care
  • Carelessness
  • Ridiculousness
  • Mental unclarity 
  • Nonsensicalness
  • Mindlessness
  • Idiocy
  • Imbecility
  • Absurdness
  • Lack of education
  • Witlessness
  • Meaninglessness
  • Fact
  • Proof
  • Realness
  • Case
  • Existence
  • Actuality
  • Realism
  • Misjudgment
  • Irresponsibility
  • Disdain 
  • Loafing
  • Loitering
  • Apathy
  • Quiet 
  • Failure 
  • No comment
  • Indifference 
  • Material consideration

How Can You Use Thought in a Sentence?

Wondering how to use thought in a sentence? We’ve got you covered! Here are a few example sentences for you to review:

My first thought of the day — and perhaps even my second thought on some days — is where on earth is my cup of coffee?

I was lost deep in my own thoughts during the lecture today and basically have not a single clue as to what the professor was talking about — in other words, please help! 

I put quite a bit of thought into your offer, and I am happy to say that I humbly accept.

The company meeting left me with a lot of food for thought about whether I want to resign and start a new career path.

What Are Translations of Thought?

Seeing as our word of the day has been in use for many years, it’s really not surprising that it can be said in a number of ways. 

That said, here are some translations of the word thought which have been provided by the Collins English Dictionary

  • European Spanish — pensamiento 
  • Finnish — ajattelu 
  • French — pensée 
  • Brazilian Portuguese — pensamento 
  • Chinese — 思想 
  • Croatian — misao 
  • Czech — myšlenka 
  • Danish — tanke 
  • British English — thought
  • American English — thought 
  • Arabic — فِكْرَة
  • Spanish — pensamiento 
  • Swedish — tanke 
  • Thai — ความคิด 
  • Turkish — düşünce 
  • Japanese — 思考 
  • Korean — 생각 
  • Norwegian — tanke 
  • Polish — myśl 
  • European Portuguese — pensamento 
  • Romanian — gând
  • Russian — мысль
  • Ukrainian — думка
  • Vietnamese — sự suy nghĩ
  • Dutch — gedachte
  • German — Gedanke 
  • Greek — σκέψη 
  • Italian — pensiero

Bottom Line

Our word of the day can be defined as an idea or opinion produced by thinking. In other words, thought is the action or process of thinking. 

We hope you thought this guide was very informative. If you’d like to discover more interesting terms, check out our website where you’ll find helpful tips, useful grammar tools, and more. 


Thought definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 

THOUGHT: Definition | Cambridge English Dictionary 

Thought – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms |