i often use pensive, when meaning anxious / tense though more of a feeling (for me usually gut / stomach or head ache) than actual anxiety (worrying thoughts / over thinking etc...). such that the 'appearance' of deep thought is there, but may be more of a day dream, wanting to think kind of state. less agitated (more statutory [serious]) look / body language than anxious, but definite tension [serious].
certainly when people appear pensive, and I talk to them that would be a correct empathetic use of the word.
is this correct usage? if so should the entry reflect on this a little more as you don't really get that from the entry.
also this 'may' be sub group of clinical 'blunt' or 'flat' effect. such that the person appears somewhat emotionless or lost in themselves, though often I would say there's a definite sadness in appearance I would not make that a pre-requisite. Though that relates more to an understanding of melancholy than anything else and is covered by that term. —This comment was unsigned.
- I am not sure that the word is used in the sense you suggest. But the word probably reminds many folks of "tense#Adjective", so it is probably used this way. I think it would be considered a mistake in, say, a school. DCDuring TALK 12:01, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
As currently defined, the word only seems to apply to a person's outward appearance; I'd always understood that 'pensive' can also apply to a feeling, as in, "I feel pensive" - "I feel melancholy and contemplative." Is that incorrect, or does the definition need updating?