What does pensive mean?

Definitions for pensive
ˈpɛn sɪvpen·sive

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word pensive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. brooding, broody, contemplative, meditative, musing, pensive, pondering, reflective, ruminativeadjective

    deeply or seriously thoughtful

    "Byron lives on not only in his poetry, but also in his creation of the 'Byronic hero' - the persona of a brooding melancholy young man";

  2. pensive, wistfuladjective

    showing pensive sadness

    "the sensitive and wistful response of a poet to the gentler phases of beauty"


  1. pensiveadjective

    Having the appearance of deep, often melancholic, thinking.

  2. pensiveadjective

    Looking thoughtful, especially from sadness.

  3. Etymology: From pensif, from the verb penser by adding suffix -if (English -ive), from penso.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. PENSIVEadjective

    Etymology: pensif, French; pensivo, Italian.

    Think it still a good work, which they in their pensive care for the well bestowing of time account waste. Richard Hooker.

    Are you at leisure, holy father, ——
    —— My leisure serves me, pensive daughter, now. William Shakespeare.

    Anxious cares the pensive nymph opprest,
    And secret passions labour’d in her breast. Alexander Pope.

    We at the sad approach of death shall know
    The truth, which from these pensive numbers flow,
    That we pursue false joy, and suffer real woe. Matthew Prior.


  1. Pensive

    Pensive (February 5, 1941 – May 20, 1949) was a bright chestnut Thoroughbred racehorse that in 1944 won the first two legs of the U.S. Triple Crown. Pensive also began only the second sire line "hat trick" in the Kentucky Derby, as his son Ponder won the 1949 Derby, and Ponder's son Needles won the 1956 edition.


  1. pensive

    Pensive is an adjective that describes a state of being deeply or seriously thoughtful, often with a tinge of sadness or melancholy. It can also refer to someone who is contemplative, reflective, meditative, or introspective.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pensiveadjective

    thoughtful, sober, or sad; employed in serious reflection; given to, or favorable to, earnest or melancholy musing

  2. Pensiveadjective

    expressing or suggesting thoughtfulness with sadness; as, pensive numbers

  3. Etymology: [F. pensif, fr. penser to think, fr. L. pensare to weigh, ponder, consider, v. intens. fr. pendere to weigh. See Pension, Poise.]


  1. Pensive

    Pensive was a bright chestnut thoroughbred racehorse who in 1944 came closer than any other horse at the time to winning the U.S. Triple Crown. He was also the first to win the first two legs and then lose the third. A son of England's Hyperion, out of Penicuik II, Pensive, ridden by Conn McCreary, won the Kentucky Derby going away by four and a half lengths. A week later, he took the Preakness. That year, the Belmont, had upped its purse to $50,000. Pensive was in the lead when Bounding Home inched by to take the race by less than half a length. Pensive was brought to the United States still forming in his mother's womb by Arthur B. Hancock, who then sold the mare to the owner of Calumet Farm, Warren Wright. Wright had inherited Calumet from his father, William Monroe Wright, president of the Calumet Baking Powder Company. In time, Warren Wright was also president of the baking powder company, and he took it to the financial heights of the business world. When he also took over Calumet in 1931, he sold off the trotters his father favored and began buying Thoroughbreds for flat racing. Under Wright, Calumet enjoyed years of racing dominance.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pensive

    pen′siv, adj. thoughtful: reflecting: expressing thoughtfulness with sadness.—adj. Pen′sived (Shak.), thought over.—adv. Pen′sively.—n. Pen′siveness, state of being pensive: gloomy thoughtfulness: melancholy. [Fr. pensif—L. pensāre, to weigh—pendĕre, to weigh.]

Suggested Resources

  1. pensive

    Song lyrics by pensive -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by pensive on the Lyrics.com website.

How to pronounce pensive?

How to say pensive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of pensive in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of pensive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of pensive in a Sentence

  1. John Milton:

    Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train.

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"pensive." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/pensive>.

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