"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary" is the first line of Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven. Many a deep thinker has repeated it while musing. But if you've given up deep thinking, you may say instead, "Nevermore."

Think of ponder as reflecting on weighty thoughts. It will help you remember the definition if you can remember the word's Latin roots. It comes from ponderare, which literally meant to weigh, and pondus, which means weight. People sometimes use the word ironically, for example, when someone asks you to do something you really don't want to do. You may tap your chin for a second and say, "Let me ponder that." Pause. "Um, no!"

Definitions of ponder

v reflect deeply on a subject

chew over, contemplate, excogitate, meditate, mull, mull over, muse, reflect, ruminate, speculate, think over
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think or reflect beforehand or in advance
theologise, theologize
make theoretical speculations about theology or discuss theological subjects
reflect on one's own thoughts and feelings
consider or ponder something carefully
consider carefully and deeply; reflect upon; turn over in one's mind
question, wonder
place in doubt or express doubtful speculation
be uncertain about; think about without fully understanding or being able to decide
consider, study
give careful consideration to
factor, factor in, factor out
consider as relevant when making a decision
compare, equate, liken
consider or describe as similar, equal, or analogous
have doubts about
Type of:
cerebrate, cogitate, think
use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments