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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a thoughtful expression (=one that shows you are thinking about something)
▪ She listened to him with a thoughtful expression on her face.
▪ It seems to me often that her husband is kinder and more thoughtful.
▪ Some things encourage a more thoughtful, inventive kind of play than others.
▪ Since she had seen him in Marlott, his face had grown more thoughtful.
▪ Rather, more data and more thoughtful analysis are required.
▪ Morton had become immediately more thoughtful, and had ordered him to keep the matter firmly underneath his hat.
▪ Both the new managers and their organizations could have been more thoughtful and proactive in managing their first-year learning.
▪ A minority of students took a more thoughtful view of modern physics however.
▪ As he blew smoke rings, his eyes grew more thoughtful, worried, filmed over with sadness.
▪ But, again like most thoughtful women, she rarely admitted this aloud.
▪ The contradiction is a real one and deserves the most thoughtful consideration.
▪ I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in a very thoughtful frame of mind.
▪ She seemed very thoughtful, and as I was leaving, she placed a ring on my finger.
▪ The gesture seemed like an obligatory Academy Award speech, very thoughtful and very boring.
▪ I paid my bill in very thoughtful fashion, and with a trembling hand.
▪ I think that Perry was a very thoughtful, patient individual.
▪ He went very thoughtful for a while.
▪ As a governor, you need to be very thoughtful about what you request because you may get it.
▪ He had seen a thoughtful look in her eyes.
▪ Then a thoughtful look came into his eye, and without a word he ducked below.
▪ Gareth Davis stood watching them, a thoughtful look on his face.
▪ With a thoughtful look Goebbels walked back to his desk.
▪ Lavender, an intelligent, thoughtful man nearing 40, might have been a guerrilla chief in another war.
▪ I believed the senator was a thoughtful man whose wealth had elevated him above the need to make compromises with his convictions.
▪ When David wasn't drinking he was a gentle, sad, thoughtful man.
▪ But he accepted the proffered wine and took a long draught, letting a thoughtful silence fall.
▪ She turned and greeted her friend, then continued sitting in thoughtful silence.
thoughtful analysis
▪ a thoughtful expression
▪ My mother sat and watched me eating my food with a thoughtful expression on her face -- I could tell she had something to say.
▪ Paula's such a thoughtful girl.
▪ Suddenly he became more thoughtful, and his eyes filmed over with sadness.
▪ From the sunlit atrium with its glass elevator to the tasteful rooms and thoughtful service, this hotel shines with refined comfort.
▪ He stood silent and thoughtful, by himself.
▪ It is still a thoughtful, finely acted and daringly all-encompassing film, suggesting that no-one has a fixed nature.
▪ Let us be kind and thoughtful and not to be unkind and hurt other people.
▪ She seemed a thoughtful person, some one of like nature to Mary Smith, but with much more up top.
▪ Some things encourage a more thoughtful, inventive kind of play than others.
▪ They encourage corporate and individual responsibility by rewarding thoughtful management of food supply and demand.
▪ Woody Allen is a sober, thoughtful, intelligent guy.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Thoughtful \Thought"ful\, a.

  1. Full of thought; employed in meditation; contemplative; as, a man of thoughtful mind.

    War, horrid war, your thoughtful walks invades.

  2. Attentive; careful; exercising the judgment; having the mind directed to an object; as, thoughtful of gain; thoughtful in seeking truth.

  3. Anxious; solicitous; concerned.

    Around her crowd distrust, and doubt, and fear, And thoughtful foresight, and tormenting care.

    Syn: Considerate; deliberate; contemplative; attentive; careful; wary; circumspect; reflective; discreet.

    Usage: Thoughtful, Considerate. He who is habitually thoughtful rarely neglects his duty or his true interest; he who is considerate pauses to reflect and guard himself against error. One who is not thoughtful by nature, if he can be made considerate, will usually be guarded against serious mistakes. ``He who is thoughtful does not forget his duty; he who is considerate pauses, and considers properly what is his duty. It is a recommendation to a subordinate person to be thoughtful in doing what is wished of him; it is the recommendation of a confidential person to be considerate, as he has often to judge according to his own discretion.
    --Crabb. [1913 Webster] -- Thought"ful*ly, adv. -- Thought"ful*ness, n.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, "contemplative, occupied with thought," from thought + -ful. Also in Middle English, "prudent; moody, anxious." Meaning "showing consideration for others" is from 1851 (compare thoughtless.) Related: Thoughtfully; thoughtfulness.


a. Demonstrating thought or careful consideration.

  1. adj. having intellectual depth; "a deeply thoughtful essay"

  2. exhibiting or characterized by careful thought; "a thoughtful paper" [ant: thoughtless]

  3. acting with or showing thought and good sense; "a sensible young man" [syn: sensible]

  4. taking heed; giving close and thoughtful attention; "heedful of the warnings"; "so heedful a writer"; "heedful of what they were doing" [syn: heedful, attentive] [ant: heedless]

  5. showing consideration and anticipation of needs; "it was thoughtful of you to bring flowers"; "a neighbor showed thoughtful attention" [syn: kind]

Usage examples of "thoughtful".

For help with the astrophysics, I must gtive the greatest thanks to Larry Molnar, who provided long hours of thoughtful conversation on a subject that could quite easily have been classified as bizarre.

Against this tapestry of living light the jagged contours of the pyramids stood out in dark outline, and as any thoughtful individual might do, I mused upon the vanity of human aspiration and the brevity of human passions.

It was consequently a thoughtful Bertram Wooster who half an hour later sat toying with a stoup of malvoisie in the smoking room of the Drones Club.

Kirk agreed, and fell into a thoughtful silence as he considered the simple burial ceremony that he had conducted for Maslin on the shores of that silver sea.

It had been a long time since Shelley had been with the sort of man who could get her all soft and melty with nothing more than a thoughtful touch.

Ah, messieurs, let us now be thoughtful, cast down our eyes, and exalt our hearts.

Naturally melancholy and thoughtful, feeding the sensibilities of his heart upon fiction, and though addicted to the cultivation of reason rather than fancy, having perhaps more of the deeper and acuter characteristics of the poet than those calm and half-callous properties of nature supposed to belong to the metaphysician and the calculating moralist, Mordaunt was above all men fondly addicted to solitude, and inclined to contemplations less useful than profound.

Judith MacDonald, Susan Hunt and her sister Holly, the Boise gang, and many others, for their thoughtful gifts of wine, drawings, rosaries, chocolate, Celtic music, soap, statuary, pressed heather from Culloden, handkerchiefs with echidnas, Maori pens, English teas, garden trowels, and other miscellanea meant to boost my spirits and keep me writing far past the point of exhaustion.

The Cruarch looked thoughtful and rubbed his misformed foot unselfconsciously, working at the cramped ligaments.

Bernie rescued it, declaring it was just what they needed and how thoughtful it was of him and Louisa, and how the basket was beautifully woven, neatly waterproofed with pinyon sap, and would long be treasured.

How she wished that either her son or her longtime friend would be thoughtful enough to help her from the car, into the cottage, into her bed so she could relax before Planchette arrived.

On account of these filth-dangers, it began, a century or so ago, to be the custom in cleanly and thoughtful households to provide, first, ditches, and then, lines of pipes, made out of hollow wood or baked clay, and later of iron, called drains, through which all the watery parts of household wastes could be carried away and poured out at some distance from the house.

Quickly he reached down to give his genitals a thoughtful scratch and realignment through the loose folds of his faded blue galabieh.

The dramatist who not only disseminated radicalism, but literally revolutionized the thoughtful Germans, is Gerhardt Hauptmann.

He did his best to look thoughtful, glad of the mask that screened his features.