Contemplation is long, hard thinking about something. If you’re writing a book on the meaning of the universe, then you’re going to need to do a great deal of contemplation.

Contemplate has the word temple in its roots, and originally referred to the kind of thinking you do in a special space set aside for observation. Now we use it to describe any kind of thinking that we spend a long time doing. While clicking on someone’s photos on Facebook doesn’t count as contemplation, usually, you might spend hours in contemplation of your family and your history if you come across a box of old photos in the attic.

Definitions of contemplation

n a calm, lengthy, intent consideration

musing, reflection, reflexion, rumination, thoughtfulness
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cogitation, study
attentive consideration and meditation
meditation, speculation
continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature
(religion) contemplation of spiritual matters (usually on religious or philosophical subjects)
introspection, self-contemplation, self-examination
the contemplation of your own thoughts and desires and conduct
contemplation of things past
laborious cogitation
self-analysis, soul-searching
a penetrating examination of your own beliefs and motives
examen, examination
a detailed inspection of your conscience (as done daily by Jesuits)
Type of:
the process of giving careful thought to something

n a long and thoughtful observation

Type of:
a fixed look with eyes open wide

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