1533, "to turn over in the mind," also "to chew cud" (1547), from Latin rūminātus, past participle of rūmināre ("to chew the cud, turn over in the mind"), from rūmen ("the throat, gullet"), of uncertain origin. Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈɹumɪneɪt/

ruminate (ruminates, present participle ruminating; past and past participle ruminated)

  1. (intransitive) To chew cud. (Said of ruminants.) Involves regurgitating partially digested food from the rumen.
    A camel will ruminate just as a cow will.
  2. (intransitive) To meditate or reflect.
    I didn't answer right away because I needed to ruminate first.
  3. (transitive) To meditate or ponder over; to muse on.
    • c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iii]:
      What I know / Is ruminated, plotted, and set down.
    • Mad with desire, she ruminates her sin.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Adjective

ruminate (not comparable)

  1. (botany) Having a hard albumen penetrated by irregular channels filled with softer matter, as the nutmeg and the seeds of the North American papaw.
    a ruminate endosperm

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