v. con·tem·plat·ed, con·tem·plat·ing, con·tem·plates
1. To look at attentively and thoughtfully: "He stood at the hall closet, contemplating his hats" (E. Annie Proulx).
2. To consider carefully and at length; meditate on or ponder: contemplated the problem from all sides; contemplated the mysteries of the atom.
3. To have in mind as an intention or possibility: contemplate marriage; forced by the accident to contemplate retirement.
To ponder; meditate.
[Latin contemplārī, contemplāt- : com-, intensive pref.; see COM- + templum, space for observing auguries; see tem- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.