Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To turn a matter over and over in the mind.
  • intransitive v. To chew cud.
  • transitive v. To reflect on over and over again.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To chew cud. (Said of ruminants.) Involves regurgitating partially digested food from the rumen.
  • v. To meditate or reflect.
  • adj. Having a hard albumen penetrated by irregular channels filled with softer matter, as the nutmeg and the seeds of the North American papaw.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To chew the cud; to chew again what has been slightly chewed and swallowed.
  • intransitive v. To think again and again; to muse; to meditate; to ponder; to reflect.
  • transitive v. To chew over again.
  • transitive v. To meditate or ponder over; to muse on.
  • adj. Having a hard albumen penetrated by irregular channels filled with softer matter, as the nutmeg and the seeds of the North American papaw.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To chew the cud, as a ruminant; practise rumination.
  • To muse; meditate; think again and again; ponder: as, to ruminate on misfortunes.
  • To chew again.
  • To turn over in the mind; muse on; meditate over and over.
  • In botany, appearing as if chewed: noting a structure of the endosperm (albumen) of a seed which gives a mottled appearance to its section, and which results from the infolding of a dark inner layer of the seed-coat into the lighter-colored matter of the endosperm, as in the nutmeg.

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

  • v. chew the cuds
  • v. reflect deeply on a subject

Etymologies

Latin rūmināre, rūmināt-, from rūmen, rūmin-, throat.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1533, "to turn over in the mind," also "to chew cud" (1547), from Latin rūminātus, past participle of rūmināre ("to chew the cud, turn over in the mind"), from rūmen ("the throat, gullet") (generally ruminis), of uncertain origin. (Wiktionary)

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