thought (n.)

Old English þoht, geþoht "process of thinking, a thought; compassion," from stem of þencan "to conceive of in the mind, consider" (see think). Cognate with the second element in German Gedächtnis "memory," Andacht "attention, devotion," Bedacht "consideration, deliberation."

Bammesberger ("English Etymology") explains that in Germanic -kt- generally shifted to -ht-, and a nasal before -ht- was lost. Proto-Germanic *thankija- added a suffix -t in the past tense. By the first pattern the Germanic form was *thanht-, by the second the Old English was þoht.

Second thought "later consideration" is recorded from 1640s. Thought-crime is from "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1949); thought police is attested from 1945, originally in reference to war-time Japanese Special Higher Police (Tokubetsu Koto Keisatsu).

updated on May 02, 2020

Definitions of thought from WordNet

thought (n.)
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about;
the thought never entered my mind
Synonyms: idea
thought (n.)
the process of using your mind to consider something carefully;
she paused for thought
Synonyms: thinking / thought process / cerebration / intellection / mentation
thought (n.)
the organized beliefs of a period or group or individual;
19th century thought
Darwinian thought
thought (n.)
a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty;
what are your thoughts on Haiti?
Synonyms: opinion / sentiment / persuasion / view
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