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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Smile how to use the word 'contemplate'?

    Hi, I don't really understand the dictionary definition of the word 'contemplate'. There are three explanations for the word contemplate in the OALD.
    The second one states: 'to think carefully about and accept the possibility of sth happening'.
    The examples provided are:
    The thought of war is too awful to contemplate.
    I can't contemplate what it would be like to be alone.
    She contemplated that things might get even worse.

    Could you please help me to clarify the definition a bit? thanks in advance.
    Last edited by gioro; 16-Sep-2011 at 07:54.

  2. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how to use the word 'contemplate'?

    The word "contemplate" essentially means "to think deeply about something":
    We used to engage in recondite discussions, contemplating the mystery of God for hours on end.

    It also means "to have something in mind as an intention or possibility":
    Mourinho may have contemplated leaving Real Madrid after the humiliating 5:0 loss to Barcelona. He may have even contemplated his retirement from football.

    And another common meaning of this term is "to observe, to look at something thoughtfully":
    There she stood contemplating herself in the mirror.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: how to use the word 'contemplate'?

    Quote Originally Posted by gioro View Post
    Hi, I don't really understand the dictionary definition of the word 'contemplate'. There are three explanations for the word contemplate in the OALD.
    The second one states: 'to think carefully about and accept the possibility of sth happening'.
    The examples provided are:
    The thought of war is too awful to contemplate.
    I can't contemplate what it would be like to be alone.
    She contemplated that things might get even worse.

    Could you please me to clarify the definition a bit? thanks in advance.
    My 6th edition does not give the third example, thank goodness. It doesn't sound natural to me.

    The other two are clear examples of the word used in the way the definition says it is used.

    The thought of war is too awful to contemplate. - War is such an awful thing, that I am not even prepared to think about the possibility of it actually happening.

    I can't contemplate what it would be like to be alone. The prospect of my being alone is something that I refuse even to consider.
    Last edited by 5jj; 15-Sep-2011 at 22:58. Reason: typo

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Thumbs up Re: how to use the word 'contemplate'?

    Thanks for the help.

    I now understand the meaning of the word 'contemplate', and also what the examples are talking about.

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