Thought is the process of using your mind to consider something. It can also be the product of that process: an idea or just the thing you’re thinking about.

Thought can also refer to the organized beliefs of a period, individual, or group. If you’re writing an essay about the Reformation, you’ll probably want to summarize early Catholic thought regarding free will and predestination. This word can also be used to describe a personal belief or judgment you can’t prove or be entirely certain of.

Definitions of thought
  1. noun

    the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

    thought never entered my mind”
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    arousal of the mind to special unusual activity or creativity

    a carefully considered thought about something
    concept, conception, construct

    an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances

    an idea that preoccupies the mind and holds the attention

    an incorrect conception
    plan, program, programme

    a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished

    a contrived or fantastic idea
    generalisation, generality, generalization

    an idea or conclusion having general application

    an idea that is suggested
    belief, feeling, impression, notion, opinion

    a vague idea in which some confidence is placed

    an idea evoked by some experience

    an idea accepted as a demonstrable truth
    notion, whim, whimsey, whimsy

    an odd or fanciful or capricious idea
    meaning, substance

    the idea that is intended

    the central idea that is expanded in a document or discourse
    motif, theme

    a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary or artistic work

    the idea of something that is perfect; something that one hopes to attain
    idealisation, idealization

    something that exists only as an idea

    a fundamental or central idea

    an eccentric idea
    fixation, obsession

    an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone

    an emotional preoccupation

    a topic to which one constantly reverts
    germ, seed, source

    anything that provides inspiration for later work

    a condition that is the inspiration for an activity or situation

    a strong creative impulse; divine inspiration
    conceptualisation, conceptuality, conceptualization

    an elaborated concept

    a general inclusive concept

    preoccupation with yourself to the exclusion of everything else

    a general concept that marks divisions or coordinations in a conceptual scheme
    regulation, rule

    a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior
    attribute, dimension, property

    a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished
    abstract, abstraction

    a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance

    the concept that something has a magnitude and can be represented in mathematical expressions by a constant or a variable
    division, part, section

    one of the portions into which something is regarded as divided and which together constitute a whole

    all of something including all its component elements or parts
    law, natural law

    a rule or body of rules of conduct inherent in human nature and essential to or binding upon human society
    law, law of nature

    a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature
    lexicalized concept

    a concept that is expressed by a word (in some particular language)
    hypothesis, possibility, theory

    a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena

    a concept whose truth can be proved
    audit program, audit programme

    a listing of audit procedures to be performed in completing an audit
    outline, schema, scheme

    a schematic or preliminary plan
    fallacy, false belief

    a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning
    erroneous belief, error

    a misconception resulting from incorrect information
    self-deceit, self-deception

    a misconception that is favorable to the person who holds it
    misapprehension, mistake, misunderstanding

    an understanding of something that is not correct
    fancy, fantasy, illusion, phantasy

    something many people believe that is false
    delusion, hallucination

    a mistaken or unfounded opinion or idea
    master plan

    a long-term outline of a project or government function
    blueprint, design, pattern

    something intended as a guide for making something else
    plan of action

    a plan for actively doing something
    regime, regimen

    (medicine) a systematic plan for therapy (often including diet)
    project, projection

    a planned undertaking
    agenda, docket, schedule

    a temporally organized plan for matters to be attended to
    pension account, pension plan, retirement account, retirement plan, retirement program, retirement savings account, retirement savings plan

    a plan for setting aside money to be spent after retirement
    employee savings plan

    a plan that allows employees to contribute to an investment pool managed the employer
    guideline, road map

    a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action
    stock purchase plan

    an organized plan for employees of a company to buy shares of its stock
    principle, rule, tenet

    a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct
    glimmer, glimmering, inkling, intimation

    a slight suggestion or vague understanding
    posthypnotic suggestion

    a suggestion that is made to a person who is hypnotized that specifies an action he will perform (usually in response to a cue) after he has awakened

    the impression that something is present

    an impression (especially one that is artificial or contrived)
    first blush

    at the first glimpse or impression
    Bayes’ theorem

    (statistics) a theorem describing how the conditional probability of a set of possible causes for a given observed event can be computed from knowledge of the probability of each cause and the conditional probability of the outcome of each cause
    hunch, intuition, suspicion

    an impression that something might be the case

    a traditional theme or motif or literary convention

    the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text
    implication, import, significance, subtext

    a meaning that is not expressly stated but can be inferred
    strain, tenor

    the general meaning or substance of an utterance
    undercurrent, undertone

    a subdued emotional quality underlying an utterance; implicit meaning
    denotation, extension, reference

    the most direct or specific meaning of a word or expression; the class of objects that an expression refers to

    the relation between a word or phrase and the object or idea it refers to

    an idea that is implied or suggested

    an ideal accepted by some individual or group
    beau ideal, idol, paragon, perfection

    an ideal instance; a perfect embodiment of a concept
    criterion, standard

    the ideal in terms of which something can be judged
    example, exemplar, good example, model

    something to be imitated
    ego ideal

    (psychoanalysis) the part of the ego that contains an ideal of personal excellence toward which a person strives

    something illusory and unattainable

    a misconception that is fallacious and not true or valid
    linguistic rule, rule

    (linguistics) a rule describing (or prescribing) a linguistic practice

    a summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them
    type of:

    cognitive content, content, mental object

    the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned

  2. noun

    a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty

    “what are your
    thoughts on Haiti?”
    opinion, persuasion, reckoning, sentiment, view
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    a personal view
    judgement, judgment, mind

    an opinion formed by judging something

    opinion or judgment
    parti pris, preconceived idea, preconceived notion, preconceived opinion, preconception, prepossession

    an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence

    one of two divergent or mutually exclusive opinions
    political sympathies, politics

    the opinion you hold with respect to political questions
    conclusion, decision, determination, verdict

    a position or opinion or judgment reached after consideration
    type of:


    any cognitive content held as true

  3. noun

    the process of using your mind to consider something carefully

    “she paused for
    cerebration, intellection, mentation, thinking, thought process
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    free association

    a thought process in which ideas (words or images) suggest other ideas in a sequence
    construction, mental synthesis

    the creation of a construct; the process of combining ideas into a congruous object of thought
    abstract thought, logical thinking, reasoning

    thinking that is coherent and logical
    line of thought

    a particular way of thinking that is characteristic of some individual or group
    thread, train of thought

    the connections that link the various parts of an event or argument together

    obscure or irrational thought

    the process of forming and relating ideas

    the process of giving careful thought to something

    thinking something out with care in order to achieve complete understanding of it

    thought that makes something comprehensible
    planning, preparation, provision

    the cognitive process of thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening
    problem solving

    the thought processes involved in solving a problem
    convergent thinking

    thinking that brings together information focussed on solving a problem (especially solving problems that have a single correct solution)
    divergent thinking, out-of-the-box thinking

    thinking that moves away in diverging directions so as to involve a variety of aspects and which sometimes lead to novel ideas and solutions; associated with creativity
    interpretation, interpreting, rendering, rendition

    an explanation of something that is not immediately obvious
    crystallisation, crystallization

    a mental synthesis that becomes fixed or concrete by a process resembling crystal formation

    the conception and development of an idea or plan
    analysis, analytic thinking

    the abstract separation of a whole into its constituent parts in order to study the parts and their relations
    argument, argumentation, line, line of reasoning, logical argument

    a course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating a truth or falsehood; the methodical process of logical reasoning

    reasoning that involves the formation of conclusions from incomplete evidence
    deduction, deductive reasoning, synthesis

    reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)
    illation, inference

    the reasoning involved in drawing a conclusion or making a logical judgment on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than on the basis of direct observation
    anticipation, prediction, prevision

    the act of predicting (as by reasoning about the future)

    logical and methodical reasoning
    reasoning backward, regress

    the reasoning involved when you assume the conclusion is true and reason backward to the evidence
    synthesis, synthetic thinking

    the combination of ideas into a complex whole
    advisement, deliberation, weighing

    careful consideration

    a systematic consideration
    contemplation, musing, reflection, reflexion, rumination, thoughtfulness

    a calm, lengthy, intent consideration
    principle, rationale

    (law) an explanation of the fundamental reasons (especially an explanation of the working of some device in terms of laws of nature)

    something crucial for explaining
    rationalisation, rationalization

    the cognitive process of making something seem consistent with or based on reason
    agreement, arrangement

    the thing arranged or agreed to

    the planning that is disrupted when someone `upsets the applecart’
    malice aforethought, mens rea

    (law) criminal intent; the thoughts and intentions behind a wrongful act (including knowledge that the act is illegal); often at issue in murder trials
    calculation, deliberation

    planning something carefully and intentionally
    forethought, premeditation

    planning or plotting in advance of acting
    enquiry, inquiry, research

    a search for knowledge
    calculation, computation, figuring, reckoning

    problem solving that involves numbers or quantities

    a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena
    type of:

    higher cognitive process

    cognitive processes that presuppose the availability of knowledge and put it to use

  4. noun

    the organized beliefs of a period or group or individual

    “19th century
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    the prevailing current of thought
    type of:


    any cognitive content held as true

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