mid-14c., "devoted to (sacred) contemplation, devout," from Old French contemplatif (12c.) and directly from Latin contemplativus "speculative, theoretical," formed (after Greek theoretikos) from contemplat-, past-participle stem of contemplari "to gaze attentively, observe; consider, contemplate" (see contemplate). Meaning "given to continued and absorbed reflection" is from late 15c. Related: Contemplatively.
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