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Alternative forms[edit]


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English thinken, thynken, thenken, thenchen, from Old English þencan, þenċan, þenċean (to meditate, cogitate, consider; think, have in mind; suppose, imagine, hold as an opinion or belief; think of, consider, employ the mind on a subject, reason), from Proto-Germanic *þankijaną (to think, suppose, perceive), from Proto-Indo-European *teng- (to think, feel, know). Cognate with Scots think, thynk (to think), North Frisian teenk, taanke, tanke, tånke (to think), Saterland Frisian toanke (to think), West Frisian tinke (to think), Dutch denken (to think), Low German denken (to think), dinken, German denken (to think), Danish tænke (to think), Swedish tänka (to think), Norwegian Bokmål tenke (to think), Norwegian Nynorsk tenkja (to think), Icelandic þekkja (to know, recognise, identify, perceive), Latin tongeō (know).


think (third-person singular simple present thinks, present participle thinking, simple past and past participle thought)

  1. (transitive) To ponder, to go over in one's head.
    Idly, the detective thought what his next move should be.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 29686887 , chapter IV:
      So this was my future home, I thought! Certainly it made a brave picture. I had seen similar ones fired-in on many a Heidelberg stein. Backed by towering hills, [] a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  2. (intransitive) 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. (intransitive) To conceive of something or someone (usually followed by of; infrequently, by on).
    I tend to think of her as rather ugly.
    • 2013 August 3, “Revenge of the nerds”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Think of banking today and the image is of grey-suited men in towering skyscrapers. Its future, however, is being shaped in converted warehouses and funky offices in San Francisco, New York and London, where bright young things in jeans and T-shirts huddle around laptops, sipping lattes or munching on free food.
  4. (transitive) To be of the opinion (that).
    I think she is pretty, contrary to most people.
    • 1865, Henry David Thoreau, Cape Cod, Chapter IX. "The Sea and the Desert", page 182.
      [] one man showed me a young oak which he had transplanted from behind the town, thinking it an apple-tree.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 3, in The Celebrity:
      Now all this was very fine, but not at all in keeping with the Celebrity's character as I had come to conceive it. The idea that adulation ever cloyed on him was ludicrous in itself. In fact I thought the whole story fishy, and came very near to saying so.
  5. (transitive) To guess; to reckon.
    I think she’ll pass the examination.
  6. (transitive) 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.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Thinks I to myself, “Sol, you're run off your course again. This is a rich man's summer ‘cottage’ and if you don't look out there's likely to be some nice, lively dog taking an interest in your underpinning.”
  7. To plan; to be considering; to be of a mind (to do something).
    • Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
      The cupbearer shrugged up his shoulders in displeasure. "I thought to have lodged him in the solere chamber," said he []
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      “Well,” I answered, at first with uncertainty, then with inspiration, “he would do splendidly to lead your cotillon, if you think of having one.” ¶ “So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker?” ¶ I was somewhat set back by her perspicuity.
  8. To presume; to venture.
    • Bible, Matthew iii. 9
      Think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father.
  • (ponder): For semantic relationships of this sense, see ponder in the Thesaurus.
  • (communicate to oneself in one's mind): For semantic relationships of this sense, see think in the Thesaurus.
  • (be of the opinion (that)): For semantic relationships of this sense, see have opinion in the Thesaurus.
  • (guess, reckon): guess For semantic relationships of this sense, see suppose in the Thesaurus.
  • (consider, judge, regard something as): For semantic relationships of this sense, see deem in the Thesaurus.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


think (usually uncountable, plural thinks)

  1. (chiefly Britain) An act of thinking; consideration (of something).
    I'll have a think about that and let you know.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English thinken, thynken, thenken (also thinchen, thünchen), from Old English þyncan (to seem, appear), from Proto-Germanic *þunkijaną (to seem). Cognate with Dutch dunken (to seem, appear), German dünken (to seem, appear), Danish tykkes (to seem), Swedish tycka (to seem, think, regard), Icelandic þykja (to be regarded, be considered, seem). More at methinks.


think (third-person singular simple present thinks, present participle thinking, simple past and past participle thought)

  1. (obsolete except in methinks) To seem, to appear.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter v, in Le Morte Darthur, book XV:
      And whanne syr launcelot sawe he myghte not ryde vp in to the montayne / he there alyghte vnder an Appel tree / [] / And then he leid hym doune to slepe / And thenne hym thoughte there came an old man afore hym / the whiche sayd A launcelot of euylle feythe and poure byleue / wherfor is thy wille tourned soo lyghtely toward thy dedely synne