Language: Old English
Origin: thencan


1 verb
think1 S1 W1 past tense and past participle thought


[transitive] to have a particular opinion or to believe that something is true
think (that)
I think that you're being unfair.
I thought I heard something.
He didn't think anyone would believe him.
Do you think I should call him?
For some reason, I keep thinking it's Friday today.
The recession lasted longer than anyone thought it would.
Am I right in thinking that you have a brother?
I can't help thinking that he's made a mistake.
Do you honestly think I would do something so stupid?
what do you think of/about somebody/something? (=used to ask someone for their opinion)
What do you think of your new school?
think it necessary/possible/best etc (=believe it is necessary, possible etc)
I thought it best to call first.
I thought it appropriate to invite her to speak at the meeting.
We must start thinking in terms of reducing costs.
be thought to be (doing) something (=be believed to be (doing) something)
Fraud is thought to be costing software companies millions of dollars a year.

use your mind

[intransitive and transitive] to use your mind to solve something, decide something, imagine something etc:
She thought very carefully before answering.
Wait a minute - I'm thinking.
think about/of
She lay awake thinking about the money.
think what/how/when etc
I can't think what else we could have done.
think (long and) hard (=think for a long time)
She thought very hard before deciding to leave her job.
Holmes sat thinking deeply (=thinking in a serious and careful way).
I dread/shudder/hate to think (=I do not want to think about something because it will be unpleasant)
I dread to think how much this call is going to cost.

have an idea

[transitive] to have words or ideas in your mind without telling them to anyone:
'How strange!' he thought.
'I don't care!' she thought to herself.
It was impossible to know what he was thinking.
think what/how/when etc
I was just thinking what a lovely time we had yesterday.


[transitive] to remember something
think where/what etc
He was trying to think where he'd seen her before.
I couldn't think where I'd left my keys.

consider somebody/something

[intransitive and transitive] to consider that someone or something is a particular thing or has a particular quality
think of somebody/something as something
Peter had always thought of Kate as someone to be avoided.
I want you to think of this as your home.
think of yourself as something
I've always thought of myself as a sensible person.
think somebody (to be) something
My parents never thought me capable of doing a degree.
We have good reason to think kindly of (=consider in an approving way) a school that has provided all our children with an excellent education.

think of/about doing something

to consider the possibility of doing something:
I had never thought of becoming an actor.
We did think about moving to Tokyo.
Don't even think about calling him (=used to tell someone strongly not to do something).

think twice

to think very carefully before deciding to do something, because you know about the dangers or problems:
A visible alarm makes burglars think twice.
think twice about
A previous divorce can make you think twice about getting married again.
think twice before doing something/before you do something
I'd think twice before taking out such a large loan.

think again

to think carefully about a plan, decision, idea etc, especially with the result that you change your mind or do something differently:
If you think car crime can't happen to you, think again.
think again about
Universities may be forced to think again about the courses they provide.
9 spoken

I think

used when you are saying that you believe something is true, although you are not sure:
Mary is in the garden, I think.
I don't think Ray will mind.
'Do you understand what I mean?' 'Yes, I think so.'
'Haven't we met before?' 'I don't think so.'
I thought he was honest, but I was wrong.
10 spoken

I think I'll ...

used to say what you will probably do:
I think I'll go to bed early tonight.
11 spoken

I thought (that)

used when you are politely suggesting something to do:
I thought we'd go swimming tomorrow.
I thought we could meet for lunch.
12 spoken

I would think

also I would have thought; also I should think/I should have thought British English used when you are saying that you believe something is probably true:
We'll need about 10 bottles of wine, I should think.
I would have thought it would be better to wait a while.
13 spoken

you would have thought (that)

also you would think (that) used to say that you expect something to be true, although it is not:
You would have thought the school would do more to help a child like Craig.
14 spoken

do you think (that) ...?

a) used when you are asking someone politely to do something for you:
Do you think you could help me move these boxes?
b) used to ask someone's opinion:
Do you think I need to bring a jacket?
15 spoken

who/what etc do you think?

a) used to ask someone's opinion:
Who do you think will win?
b) used when asking someone angrily about something:
Where do you think you're going?
16 spoken

I think not

formal used to say that you strongly believe something is not true or that you disagree with someone:
This could be a coincidence, but I think not.
17 spoken

(just) think

used to ask someone to imagine or consider something:
Just think - we could be millionaires!
(just) think of
It would be lovely, but think of the expense!
just think what/how etc
Just think what could have happened.
18 spoken

(now I) come to think of it

used to mention something you have just realized or remembered:
'Were there any letters for me?' 'Yes there were, come to think of it.'
19 spoken

I wasn't thinking

also I didn't think used as a way of saying you are sorry because you have upset someone:
Sorry, I shouldn't have said that. I wasn't thinking.
20 spoken

to think (that) ...!

used to show that you are very surprised about something:
To think we lived next door to him and never knew what he was doing!
21 spoken

if you think...,you've got another think coming!

used to tell someone that if they think someone is going to do something, they are wrong:
If you think I'm going to wait for you, you've got another think coming!
22 spoken

that's what you/they etc think!

used to say that you strongly disagree with someone
23 spoken

who would have thought?

used to say that something is very surprising:
Who would have thought she'd end up dancing for a living?
24 spoken

I thought as much

used to say that you are not surprised by something someone tells you:
'Andy failed his driving test.' 'I thought as much when I saw his face.'
25 spoken

I should have thought ...

British English used as a polite or joking way of showing that you disagree with what someone has said or think it is silly:
'Why isn't it working?' 'I should have thought it was obvious.'

think better of it

to not do something that you had planned to do, because you realize that it is not a good idea:
He started to say something, then thought better of it.

think nothing of doing something

to think that a particular activity is normal or easy, even though other people think it is unusual or difficult:
He thinks nothing of staying up all night in casinos.

think nothing of something

to think that something is not important and then realize later that it is important:
I had a pain in my back but thought nothing of it at the time.

not think to do something

to not consider doing something, especially when you later wish you had done it:
I didn't think to question the treatment I was given.
I never thought to ask him for his address.

think for yourself

to have ideas and thoughts of your own rather than believing what other people say:
Parents have to teach their children to think for themselves.

think aloud

also think out loud to say what you are thinking, without talking to anyone in particular:
Oh, sorry. I was thinking aloud.

think straight

[usually in negatives] to think clearly:
I'm so nervous I can't think straight.
How can I think straight with you talking all the time?

not think much of somebody/something

to not like someone or something very much:
I didn't think much of his new girlfriend.

think highly of somebody/something

also think a lot of somebody/something to admire or respect someone or something:
Your boss must think highly of you if she gives you so much responsibility.

think the world of somebody

informal to like or love someone very much:
The children think the world of her.

think badly of somebody

also think less of somebody formal to disapprove of someone or what they have done:
Please don't think badly of me.
think badly of somebody for
Do you think less of me for agreeing to do it?

think the best/worst of somebody

to consider someone's behaviour in a way that makes them seem as good as possible or as bad as possible:
He's determined to think the worst of me.

think big

informal to plan to do things that are difficult, but will be very impressive, make a lot of profit etc:
The company is thinking big.

think outside the box

to think of new, different, or unusual ways of doing something, especially in business

think positive/positively

to believe that you are going to be successful or that good things are going to happen:
You have to think positive if you're going to be successful in this game.

think on your feet

to think of ideas and make decisions very quickly:
In this job you need to be able to think on your feet.

think to do something

literary to try to do something:
They had thought to deceive me.

anyone would think (that)

used to say that someone behaves as if a particular thing were true, although it is not:
Anyone would think he owns the place, the way he talks!

➔ can't hear yourself think

at hear (12)

think back

phrasal verb
to think about things that happened in the past:
Thinking back, it amazes me how we survived on so little sleep.
think back to/over/on
He thought back to the day he'd first met Sophie.

think of somebody/something

phrasal verb
1 to produce an idea, name, suggestion etc by thinking:
They're still trying to think of a name for the baby.
Can you think of any other way to do it?
2 to remember something:
I can't think of the name of the hotel we stayed in.
3 to behave in a way that shows that you want to treat other people well:
It was very good of you to think of me.
He's always thinking of other people.

think only of yourself

to only do things that are good for you and not think about what other people want - used to show disapproval:
She's a spoiled child who thinks only of herself.

be thinking of somebody

used to say that you care about and feel sympathy for someone who is in a difficult situation:
Take care! I'll be thinking of you.

think something ↔ out

phrasal verb
to think about all the parts of something carefully before deciding or planning exactly what to do:
He went for a walk to think things out.
The proposal needs to be carefully thought out.
think out what/how/whether etc
She had thought out what she was going to say.

think something ↔ over

phrasal verb
to consider something carefully before making a decision:
I've been thinking over your suggestion.
Why don't you think it over and give me a call in a couple of days?
I want some more time to think things over.

think something ↔ through

phrasal verb
to think carefully about the possible results of something:
The policy has not been thought through properly.
It's my fault. I didn't think it through.
I need time to think things through.
think through what/how
People need time to think through what the changes will mean for them.

think something ↔ up

phrasal verb
to produce a new idea, name etc by thinking:
She was trying to think up an excuse.
Did you think that up yourself?
Who thinks up names for new products?

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