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1. Engaged in deep and serious thought.
2. Showing or expressing deep, often melancholy thought: a pensive look.

[Middle English pensif, from Old French, from penser, to think, from Latin pēnsāre, frequentative of pendere, to weigh; see (s)pen- in Indo-European roots.]

pen′sive·ly adv.
pen′sive·ness n.
Synonyms: pensive, contemplative, reflective, meditative, thoughtful
These adjectives mean characterized by or disposed to deep or serious thought. Pensive often connotes a wistful, dreamy, or sad quality: "while pensive poets painful vigils keep" (Alexander Pope).
Contemplative implies slow directed consideration, often with conscious intent of achieving better understanding or spiritual or aesthetic enrichment: "[He] had envisioned an actual grove of academe through which scholars young and old might take contemplative strolls" (Tom Wolfe).
Reflective suggests careful analytical deliberation, as in reappraising past experience: "She ... is as wise as if she'd been on this earth for eighty years. Her nature is reflective—not all over the map, like mine" (Alice Munro).
Meditative implies earnest sustained thought: "She sat with her shoulders rounded in some clearly deepening meditative privacy and forgot me" (E.L. Doctorow).
Thoughtful can refer to absorption in thought or to the habit of reflection and circumspection: "I had spoken at once ... to Silvius about our departure, and we talked the matter over, for he was a thoughtful and intelligent child, and children have a wisdom of their own" (Ursula K. Le Guin).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.pensively - in a pensive manner; "pensively he stared at the painting"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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[ˈpensɪvlɪ] ADVpensativamente
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈpɛnsɪvlɪ] advpensosamente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈpensiv) adjective
thinking deeply (about something). a pensive mood.
ˈpensively adverb
ˈpensiveness noun
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
Tears are signs of gladness as well as grief; but those which coursed down Rose's face, as she sat pensively at the window, still gazing in the same direction, seemed to tell more of sorrow than of joy.
"There are difficulties; there are certainly difficulties," said Sherlock Holmes, pensively. "But our expedition of to-night will solve them all.
"She's rather old for that," said Margaret pensively. "May not she have given the present to Evie in remembrance of her mother?"
He paused and looked pensively at a sick lion in the cage opposite.
All these thoughts were rolling and seething in George's breast, as he was pensively leaning his head on his hand, watching his wife, as she was adapting to her slender and pretty form the articles of man's attire, in which it was deemed safest she should make her escape.
GOTT IM HIMMEL, ABER, how he has been able to sing twenty-five years ago?" [Then pensively.] "ACH, no, NOW he not sing any more, he only cry.
Felton made no reply, took the book with the same appearance of repugnance which he had before manifested, and retired pensively.
"Diavolo!" said the cardinal, pensively gazing at the two friends with lively admiration; "I should have cried, I should."
If you were not a father there would be nothing I could reproach you with," said Anna Pavlovna, looking up pensively.
"I should not like to break her heart," Ruth said pensively.
Alec paused, Archie closed the door of the case as respectfully as if the mummy of an Egyptian king was inside; Will and Geordie looked solemnly at one another, evidently much impressed, and Charlie pensively remarked from the coal-hod where he sat
The older man, with his feet upon the opposite seat and his arms folded, was looking pensively through the rain-splashed window-pane into the impenetrable darkness.