Definition of “contemplate” - English Dictionary

“contemplate” in British English

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contemplateverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈkɒn.təm.pleɪt/ us /ˈkɑːn.t̬əm.pleɪt/

C2 to spend time considering a possible future action, or to consider one particular thing for a long time in a serious and quiet way:

[ + -ing verb ] I'm contemplating going abroad for a year.
They were contemplating a move to California.
It's too awful/horrific/dangerous to contemplate.

More examples

  • I'm contemplating leaving my job.
  • Losing a child is just too awful to contemplate.
  • I couldn't contemplate living on my own.
  • He was contemplating his future.

(Definition of “contemplate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“contemplate” in American English

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contemplateverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈkɑnt·əmˌpleɪt/

to spend time considering a possible future action, or to consider one particular thing for a long time in a serious way:

[ T ] The owner of the team contemplated moving his football club to another city.
[ T ] Sharon is contemplating going to graduate school.
contemplation
noun [ U ] us /ˌkɑnt·əmˈpleɪ·ʃən/

(Definition of “contemplate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)