AskDefine | Define think

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]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /θɪŋk/, /TINk/
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋk

Etymology 1



  1. to ponder, to go over in one's head
    Idly, the detective thought what his next move should be.
  2. To communicate to oneself in one's mind, to try to find a solution to a problem.
    I thought for three hours about the problem and still couldn’t find the solution.
  3. to conceive of something or someone (usually followed by of or on)
    I tend to think of her as rather ugly.
  4. To be of the opinion (that).
    I think she is pretty, contrary to most people.
  5. To guess; to reckon.
    I think she’ll pass the examination.
  6. To consider, judge, regard, or look upon (something) as.
    At the time I thought his adamant refusal to give in right.
    I hope you won’t think me stupid if I ask you what that means.
Related terms
communicate to oneself in one’s mind
be of the opinion that
guess, reckon
  • Bosnian: misliti
  • Croatian: misliti
  • Czech: myslet
  • Dutch: denken, geloven
  • Finnish: luulla, arvella
  • French: penser, supposer
  • German: denken, glauben
  • Icelandic: halda, hugsa
  • Italian: pensare, supporre
  • Japanese: 思う
  • Lower Sorbian: mysliś
  • Norwegian: tro
  • Polish: myśleć
  • Portuguese: pensar, achar
  • Romanian: crede
  • Russian: думать (dúmat’)
  • Serbian:
    Cyrillic: мислити
    Roman: misliti
  • Spanish: suponer
  • Swedish: tro
  • Telugu: ఊహించు (oohinchu)
consider, judge, regard something as
Translations to be checked

Etymology 2

From Old English þyncan.


think (obsolete except in archaic methinks)
  1. To seem, to appear.

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
think in Arabic: فكر
think in Catalan: Pensament
think in German: Denken
think in Estonian: Mõtlemine
think in Spanish: Pensamiento (mente)
think in Esperanto: Pensado
think in Persian: فكر
think in French: Pensée
think in Galician: Pensamento
think in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Pensamento
think in Indonesian: Pikiran
think in Italian: Pensiero
think in Icelandic: Hugsun
think in Hebrew: חשיבה
think in Latin: Cogitatio
think in Latvian: Domāšana
think in Lithuanian: Mintis
think in Hungarian: Szellem
think in Macedonian: Мисла
think in Dutch: Denken
think in Norwegian: Tenke
think in Japanese: 思考
think in Korean: 생각
think in Polish: Myślenie
think in Portuguese: Pensamento
think in Russian: Мышление (психология)
think in Albanian: Mendimi
think in Simple English: Thought
think in Serbian: Размишљање
think in Finnish: Ajattelu
think in Swedish: Tänkande
think in Turkish: Düşünce
think in Ukrainian: Думка
think in Yiddish: טראכטן
think in Chinese: 思维

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

account as, aim, aim at, anticipate, appreciate, aspire after, aspire to, assess, assume, be afraid, be after, be concerned, believe, brood, call to mind, care, cerebrate, cogitable, cogitate, come up with, comprehend, comprehensible, conceivable, conceive, conceptualize, conclude, concoct, conjecture, consider, contemplate, contrive, convincing, create, credit, daresay, deduce, deem, deliberate, design, desire, destine, determine, devise, divine, dread, dream, dream up, drive at, entertain ideas, envisage, envision, esteem, estimate, evaluate, exercise the mind, expect, face, fancy, fantasize, feasible, feature, feel, foresee, form ideas, gather, go for, grant, guess, harbor a design, have a hunch, have an idea, have an impression, have an inkling, have every intention, have in mind, have the idea, heed, hold, hold as, hope, ideate, image, imaginable, imagine, improvise, infer, intellectualize, intend, invent, judge, let, let be, likely, logicalize, logicize, look upon as, maintain, make up, mark, mean, meditate, mind, mull, mull over, muse, muse over, opine, pay attention, plan, plausible, ponder, possible, practicable, practical, prefigure, presumable, presume, presuppose, presurmise, pretend, project, propose, provisionally accept, purport, purpose, rationalize, realize, reason, recall, reck, reckon, recollect, reflect, regard, remember, repute, resolve, ruminate, ruminate over, say, see, sense, set down as, speculate, study, supposable, suppose, surmise, suspect, take, take an interest, take for, take for granted, take it, take to be, think of, thinkable, trow, understand, value, view as, vision, visualize, ween, weigh
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