from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Disposed to or characterized by contemplation. synonym: pensive.
  • noun A person given to contemplation.
  • noun A member of a religious order that emphasizes meditation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Given to or characterized by contemplation or continued and absorbed reflection; employed in reflection or study; reflective; meditative; thoughtful: as, a contemplative mind.
  • Marked by contemplation; manifesting reflection or a studious habit.
  • Relating or pertaining to contemplation or thought, as distinguished from action: as, contemplative philosophy; the contemplative faculty (that is, the faculty of cognition).
  • noun One given to contemplation or deep thought, especially on religious subjects; a recluse; a hermit.
  • noun Eccles., a friar of the order of Mary Magdalene.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (R. C. Ch.) A religious or either sex devoted to prayer and meditation, rather than to active works of charity.
  • adjective Pertaining to contemplation; addicted to, or employed in, contemplation; meditative.
  • adjective Having the power of contemplation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Pertaining to one who contemplates or is introspective and thoughtful.
  • adjective Pertaining especially to a contemplative Roman Catholic religious or one of the contemplative Roman Catholic religious orders.
  • noun Someone who has dedicated themselves to religious contemplation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective deeply or seriously thoughtful
  • noun a person devoted to the contemplative life


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French contemplatif, from the participle stem of Latin contemplāre.



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  • Principles to Remember


    * First, do the contemplative work to develop a personal answer to the question

    * Understand what the interviewer is trying to gather from your response

    * Shorten the timeframe of the question so you can give a more specific and reasonable reply


    March 22, 2011