Definitions

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

  • adj. Engrossed in thought; contemplative.
  • adj. Exhibiting or characterized by careful thought: a thoughtful essay.
  • adj. Having or showing heed for the well-being or happiness of others and a propensity for anticipating their needs or wishes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Demonstrating thought or careful consideration.
  • adj. Demonstrating kindness or consideration for others.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of thought; employed in meditation; contemplative.
  • adj. Attentive; careful; exercising the judgment; having the mind directed to an object.
  • adj. Anxious; solicitous; concerned.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Occupied with thought; engaged in or disposed to reflection; contemplative; meditative.
  • Characterized by or manifesting thought; pertaining to thought; concerned with or dedicated to thought.
  • Mindful, as to something specified; heedful; careful: followed by of or an infinitive.
  • Showing regard or consideration for others; benevolent; considerate; kindly.
  • Full of care; anxious; troubled.
  • Synonyms Reflective, pensive, studious.
  • Considerate, regardful.

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

  • adj. taking heed; giving close and thoughtful attention
  • adj. having intellectual depth
  • adj. acting with or showing thought and good sense
  • adj. exhibiting or characterized by careful thought
  • adj. considerate of the feelings or well-being of others

Etymologies

From thought +‎ -ful (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pretty good, Miss Green, the advisor called out with her usual restraint, hands on the hips of her gray sweats, her expression thoughtful A compact woman with frizzy brown hair and a somewhat plain face, Miss Green had a husky voice that always sounded as if she had laryngitis.

    The Second Evil

  • When he looked up, it was to glance slowly around the room, his expression thoughtful and distant.

    The Glory Game

  • She looked over the clothes, her expression thoughtful.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving and Recovery

  • Chloe turned and looked at me again, her expression thoughtful.

    Forever Lost

  • Robert stroked his trim beard, his expression thoughtful.

    Much Ado About Marriage

  • Mendoza crossed his arms over his chest, his expression thoughtful.

    Risk No Secrets

  • She compressed her lips and looked at me, her expression thoughtful.

    I Am Not A Psychic!

  • Hugo drank from his carbonated water and chewed a cherry on the back of his teeth, his expression thoughtful.

    Rain Gods

  • But, she added, hardly any of the people she spoke to about him used the word thoughtful.

    In the Shadow of the Oval Office

  • 'There is another kind of safety which I call thoughtful safety,' said he.

    Mother

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