Skip to main content

Consider vs Study vs Contemplate vs Weigh vs Excogitate

Consider, study, contemplate, weigh, excogitate are comparable chiefly as transitive verbs meaning to fix the mind for a time on something in order to increase one’s knowledge or understanding of it or to solve a problem involved in it.

Consider often suggests little more than an applying of one’s mind, but sometimes it also carries such a restricting implication as that of a definite point of view or as that of thinking over or as that of casting about in order to reach a suitable conclusion, opinion, or decision.

Study implies greater mental concentration than consider; usually it also suggests more care for the details or minutiae and more of an effort to comprehend fully or to learn all the possibilities, applications, variations, or relations.

Contemplate (see also SEE) implies, like meditate (see under PONDER), the focusing of one’s attention upon a thing and a close dwelling upon it; the term, however, does not always carry a clear implication of the purpose or result. When the object on which the mind rests is a plan, a project, or an imaginative conception, the word usually suggests its formulation in detail or its enjoyment as envisioned.

When the object contemplated lies outside the mind and has either material or immaterial existence, the term suggests an attempt to increase one’s knowledge and comprehension of it through minute scrutiny and meditation.

Weigh (compare PONDER) implies evaluation of something and especially of one thing in respect to another and relevant thing or things; it suggests an attempt to get at the truth by a balancing (as of counterclaims, contradictory data, or conflicting evidence).

Excogitate is often replaced by think out and implies the application of the mind to something so that one may find the solution of the problems involved.