I. think1 S1 W1 /θɪŋk/ BrE AmE verb (past tense and past participle thought /θɔːt $ θɒːt/)
[Word Family: noun: ↑think, ↑rethink, ↑thinker, ↑thinking, the unthinkable; verb: ↑think, ↑rethink; adjective: ↑thinkable ≠ ↑unthinkable, ↑thinking ≠ ↑unthinking; adverb: ↑unthinkingly]
[Language: Old English; Origin: thencan]
1. OPINION/BELIEF [transitive] to have a particular opinion or to believe that something is true
I think that you’re being unfair.
I thought I heard something.
He didn’t think anyone would believe him.
Do you think I should call him?
For some reason, I keep thinking it’s Friday today.
The recession lasted longer than anyone thought it would.
Am I right in thinking that you have a brother?
I can’t help thinking that he’s made a mistake.
Do you honestly think I would do something so stupid?
what do you think of/about somebody/something? (=used to ask someone for their opinion)
What do you think of your new school?
think it necessary/possible/best etc (=believe it is necessary, possible etc)
I thought it best to call first.
I thought it appropriate to invite her to speak at the meeting.
We must start thinking in terms of reducing costs.
be thought to be (doing) something (=be believed to be (doing) something)
Fraud is thought to be costing software companies millions of dollars a year.
2. USE YOUR MIND [intransitive and transitive] to use your mind to decide about something, form an opinion, imagine something etc:
She thought very carefully before answering.
Wait a minute – I’m thinking.
She lay awake thinking about the money.
think what/how/when etc
I can’t think what else we could have done.
think (long and) hard (=think for a long time)
She thought very hard before deciding to leave her job.
Holmes sat thinking deeply (=thinking in a serious and careful way).
I dread/shudder/hate to think (=I do not want to think about something because it will be unpleasant)
I dread to think how much this call is going to cost.
3. HAVE AN IDEA [transitive] to have words or ideas in your mind without telling them to anyone:
‘How strange!’ he thought.
‘I don’t care!’ she thought to herself.
It was impossible to know what he was thinking.
think what/how/when etc
I was just thinking what a lovely time we had yesterday.
4. REMEMBER [transitive] to remember something
think where/what etc
He was trying to think where he’d seen her before.
I couldn’t think where I’d left my keys.
5. CONSIDER SOMEBODY/SOMETHING [intransitive and transitive] to consider that someone or something is a particular thing or has a particular quality
think of somebody/something as something
Peter had always thought of Kate as someone to be avoided.
I want you to think of this as your home.
think of yourself as something
I’ve always thought of myself as a sensible person.
think somebody (to be) something
My parents never thought me capable of doing a degree.
We have good reason to think kindly of (=consider in an approving way) a school that has provided all our children with an excellent education.
6. think of/about doing something to consider the possibility of doing something:
I had never thought of becoming an actor.
We did think about moving to Tokyo.
Don’t even think about calling him (=used to tell someone strongly not to do something).
7. think twice to think very carefully before deciding to do something, because you know about the dangers or problems:
A visible alarm makes burglars think twice.
think twice about
A previous divorce can make you think twice about getting married again.
think twice before doing something/before you do something
I’d think twice before taking out such a large loan.
8. think again to think carefully about a plan, decision, idea etc, especially with the result that you change your mind or do something differently:
If you think car crime can’t happen to you, think again.
think again about
Universities may be forced to think again about the courses they provide.
• • •
9. I think used when you are saying that you believe something is true, although you are not sure:
Mary is in the garden, I think.
I don’t think Ray will mind.
‘Do you understand what I mean?’ ‘Yes, I think so.’
‘Haven’t we met before?’ 'I don’t think so.’
I thought he was honest, but I was wrong.
10. I think I’ll ... used to say what you will probably do:
I think I’ll go to bed early tonight.
11. I thought (that) used when you are politely suggesting something to do:
I thought we’d go swimming tomorrow.
I thought we could meet for lunch.
12. I would think (also I would have thought, I should think/I should have thought British English) used when you are saying that you believe something is probably true:
We’ll need about 10 bottles of wine, I should think.
I would have thought it would be better to wait a while.
13. you would have thought (that) (also you would think (that)) used to say that you expect something to be true, although it is not:
You would have thought the school would do more to help a child like Craig.
14. do you think (that) ...?
a) used when you are asking someone politely to do something for you:
Do you think you could help me move these boxes?
b) used to ask someone’s opinion:
Do you think I need to bring a jacket?
15. who/what etc do you think?
a) used to ask someone’s opinion:
Who do you think will win?
b) used when asking someone angrily about something:
Where do you think you’re going?
16. I think not formal used to say that you strongly believe something is not true or that you disagree with someone:
This could be a coincidence, but I think not.
17. (just) think used to ask someone to imagine or consider something:
Just think – we could be millionaires!
(just) think of
It would be lovely, but think of the expense!
just think what/how etc
Just think what could have happened.
18. (now I) come to think of it used to mention something you have just realized or remembered:
‘Were there any letters for me?’ ‘Yes there were, come to think of it.’
19. I wasn’t thinking (also I didn’t think) used as a way of saying you are sorry because you have upset someone:
Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that. I wasn’t thinking.
20. to think (that) ...! used to show that you are very surprised about something:
To think we lived next door to him and never knew what he was doing!
21. if you think ..., you’ve got another think coming! used to tell someone that if they think someone is going to do something, they are wrong:
If you think I’m going to wait for you, you’ve got another think coming!
22. that’s what you/they etc think! used to say that you strongly disagree with someone
23. who would have thought? used to say that something is very surprising:
Who would have thought she’d end up dancing for a living?
24. I thought as much used to say that you are not surprised by something someone tells you:
‘Andy failed his driving test.’ ‘I thought as much when I saw his face.’
25. I should have thought ... British English used as a polite or joking way of showing that you disagree with what someone has said or think it is silly:
‘Why isn’t it working?’ ‘I should have thought it was obvious.’
26. think better of it to not do something that you had planned to do, because you realize that it is not a good idea:
He started to say something, then thought better of it.
27. think nothing of doing something to think that a particular activity is normal or easy, even though other people think it is unusual or difficult:
He thinks nothing of staying up all night in casinos.
28. think nothing of something to think that something is not important and then realize later that it is important:
I had a pain in my back but thought nothing of it at the time.
29. not think to do something to not consider doing something, especially when you later wish you had done it:
I didn’t think to question the treatment I was given.
I never thought to ask him for his address.
30. think for yourself to have ideas and thoughts of your own rather than believing what other people say:
Parents have to teach their children to think for themselves.
31. think aloud (also think out loud) to say what you are thinking, without talking to anyone in particular:
Oh, sorry. I was thinking aloud.
32. think straight [usually in negatives] to think clearly:
I’m so nervous I can’t think straight.
How can I think straight with you talking all the time?
33. not think much of somebody/something to not like someone or something very much:
I didn’t think much of his new girlfriend.
34. think highly of somebody/something (also think a lot of somebody/something) to admire or respect someone or something:
Your boss must think highly of you if she gives you so much responsibility.
35. think the world of somebody informal to like or love someone very much:
The children think the world of her.
36. think badly of somebody (also think less of somebody) formal to disapprove of someone or what they have done:
Please don’t think badly of me.
think badly of somebody for
Do you think less of me for agreeing to do it?
37. think the best/worst of somebody to consider someone’s behaviour in a way that makes them seem as good as possible or as bad as possible:
He’s determined to think the worst of me.
38. think big informal to plan to do things that are difficult, but will be very impressive, make a lot of profit etc:
The company is thinking big.
39. think outside the box to think of new, different, or unusual ways of doing something, especially in business
40. think positive/positively to believe that you are going to be successful or that good things are going to happen:
You have to think positive if you’re going to be successful in this game.
41. think on your feet to think of ideas and make decisions very quickly:
In this job you need to be able to think on your feet.
42. think to do something literary to try to do something:
They had thought to deceive me.
43. anyone would think (that) used to say that someone behaves as if a particular thing were true, although it is not:
Anyone would think he owns the place, the way he talks!
⇨ can’t hear yourself think at ↑hear(12)
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ carefully Think carefully about every spending decision you make.
▪ hard (=with a lot of mental effort) I bet, if you think really hard, you can think of something to do.
▪ deeply I should have thought more deeply before I agreed.
▪ seriously I thought seriously about my doctor’s advice.
▪ clearly She was simply too tired to think clearly.
▪ long and hard (=hard, for a long time, before making a decision) I thought long and hard about taking the role.
▪ I dread/hate/shudder to think (=I do not want to think about something bad) I dread to think what might have happened if we hadn’t found her.
• • •
■ to have a particular opinion
▪ think: I think you’re right. | She didn’t think that the film was very good.
▪ believe to have an opinion that you are sure is right, especially about an important subject such as politics or religion: The protestors believe that it is wrong to experiment on animals. | Do you really believe that the only solution to violence is more violence?
▪ feel to have a particular opinion, especially one that is based on your feelings, not on facts: She feels that there is no alternative. | I just felt that it was the right thing to do.
▪ take the view that formal to have a particular opinion: The court took the view that the company had acted unreasonably. | The college takes the view that smoking in the workplace is a fire risk.
■ to think about something
▪ think to use your mind to decide about something, form an opinion, imagine something etc: I’ve been thinking about what you said – maybe you’re right. | I need some time to think.
▪ consider to think about something carefully before deciding what to do: Have you considered working for a year before going to college?
▪ weigh (also weigh up British English) to carefully think about a plan or choice by comparing all the advantages and disadvantages involved: You need to weigh up the pros and cons (=the advantages and disadvantages), and decide which investment is the best one for you. | The committee are still weighing the alternatives.
▪ give something some/a lot of thought to think carefully about something, before you make a final decision about it: Why don’t you give it some thought and then get back to me? | He had obviously given the matter a lot of thought.
▪ mull something over to think about a problem, plan etc before making a decision: Can you give me a bit of time to mull it over?
▪ ponder to spend time thinking carefully and seriously about something, especially a problem or something complicated: She is still pondering what to do. | Officials are pondering ways to remove the oil from the beaches.
▪ contemplate to think about something you might do in the future: Did you ever contemplate resigning?
▪ reflect formal to think carefully about something, especially something that happened in the past: It was a good time to reflect upon the changes that had happened in my life.
■ to keep thinking about something
▪ brood to keep thinking for a long time about something that worries you or that makes you angry or upset: There’s no point brooding over things you can’t change.
▪ dwell on something to spend too much time thinking about something sad or unpleasant: I try to enjoy my life today and not dwell on the past.
think back phrasal verb
to think about things that happened in the past:
Thinking back, it amazes me how we survived on so little sleep.
think back to/over/on
He thought back to the day he’d first met Sophie.
think of somebody/something phrasal verb
1. to produce an idea, name, suggestion etc by thinking:
They’re still trying to think of a name for the baby.
Can you think of any other way to do it?
2. to remember something:
I can’t think of the name of the hotel we stayed in.
3. to behave in a way that shows that you want to treat other people well:
It was very good of you to think of me.
He’s always thinking of other people.
4. think only of yourself to only do things that are good for you and not think about what other people want – used to show disapproval:
She’s a spoiled child who thinks only of herself.
5. be thinking of somebody used to say that you care about and feel sympathy for someone who is in a difficult situation:
Take care! I’ll be thinking of you.
think something ↔ out phrasal verb
to think about all the parts of something carefully before deciding or planning exactly what to do:
He went for a walk to think things out.
The proposal needs to be carefully thought out.
think out what/how/whether etc
She had thought out what she was going to say.
think something ↔ over phrasal verb
to consider something carefully before making a decision:
I’ve been thinking over your suggestion.
Why don’t you think it over and give me a call in a couple of days?
I want some more time to think things over.
think something ↔ through phrasal verb
to think carefully about the possible results of something:
The policy has not been thought through properly.
It’s my fault. I didn’t think it through.
I need time to think things through.
think through what/how
People need time to think through what the changes will mean for them.
think something ↔ up phrasal verb
to produce a new idea, name etc by thinking:
She was trying to think up an excuse.
Did you think that up yourself?
Who thinks up names for new products?
▪ I. think [think thinks thought thinking] verb, noun [θɪŋk] [θɪŋk]
verb (thought, thought [θɔːt] ; [θɔːt] )
1. transitive, intransitive (not used in the progressive tenses) to have a particular idea or opinion about sth/sb; to believe sth
• ~ (that)… Do you think (that) they'll come?
• I thought I heard a scream.
• I didn't think you liked sports.
• Am I right in thinking that you used to live here?
• I think this is their house, but I'm not sure.
• He ought to resign, I think.
• We'll need about 20 chairs, I should think.
• it is thought that… It was once thought that the sun travelled around the earth.
• ~ sth (about sth) What did you think about the idea?
• Well, I like it. What do you think?
• ~ so ‘Will we make it in time?’ ‘I think so.’
• ‘Is he any good?’ ‘I don't think so.’
• ~ sb/sth + adj. I think it highly unlikely that I'll get the job.
• She thought him kind and generous.
• sb/sth is thought to be sb/sth He's thought to be one of the richest men in Europe.
2. intransitive, transitive to use your mind to consider sth, to form connected ideas, to try to solve problems, etc
• Are animals able to think?
• Let me think (= give me time before I answer).
• ~ (about sth) I can't tell you now— I'll have to think about it.
• She had thought very deeply about this problem.
• All he ever thinks about is money.
• I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking (= said when you have upset or offended sb accidentally).
• ~ what, how, etc… He was trying to think what to do.
3. transitive (usually used in the progressive tenses) to have ideas, words or images in your mind
• ~ sth You're very quiet. What are you thinking?
• ~ what, how, etc… I was just thinking what a long way it is.
• + speech ‘I must be crazy,’ she thought.
4. transitive, no passive, intransitive to form an idea of sth; to imagine sth
• ~ where, how, etc… We couldn't think where you'd gone.
• Just think how nice it would be to see them again.
• ~ (that)… I can't think (that) he would be so stupid.
• ~ (sth) Just think — we'll be lying on the beach this time tomorrow.
• If I'm late home, my mother always thinks the worst.
• Try to think yourself into the role.
5. transitive to expect sth
• ~ (that)… I never thought (that) I'd see her again.
• The job took longer than we thought.
• You'd think she'd have been grateful for my help (= but she wasn't).
• ~ to do sth (formal) Who would have thought to find you here?
IN A PARTICULAR WAY
6. intransitive, transitive (informal) no passive to think in a particular way or on a particular subject
• + adj. Let's think positive.
• You need to think big (= aim to achieve a lot).
• ~ sth If you want to make money, you've got to think money.
7. transitive ~ (that)… used in questions to show that you are angry or surprised
• What do you think you're doing?
BEING LESS DEFINITE/MORE POLITE
8. transitive, intransitive used to make sth you say sound less definite or more polite
• ~ (that)… I thought we could go out tonight.
• Twenty guests are enough, I would have thought.
• Do you think you could open the window?
• ~ so ‘You've made a mistake.’ ‘I don't think so.’
9. transitive, intransitive ~ (that…) to intend sth; to have a plan about sth
• I think I'll go for a swim.
• I'm thinking in terms of about 70 guests at the wedding.
10. transitive to remember sth; to have sth come into your mind
• ~ to do sth I didn't think (= it did not occur to me) to tell her.
• ~ where, what, etc… I can't think where I put the keys.
more at see/think fit (to do sth) at fit adj., great minds think alike at great adj., speak/think ill of sb at ill adv., let me see/think at let v., I like to thinkI'd like to think at like v., think you own the place at own v.
Old English thencan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German denken.
Reporting someone's opinion
▪ Photography is, according to ▪ Vidal, the art form of untalented people.
For ▪ Vidal, photography is the art form of untalented people.
▪ His view is that ▪ photography is not art but merely the mechanical reproduction of images.
▪ Smith takes the view that ▪ photography is both an art and a science.
In ▪ Brown's view ▪, photography should be treated as a legitimate art in its own right.
▪ James is of the opinion that ▪ a good painter can always be a good photographer if he or she so decides.
▪ Emerson believed that ▪ a photograph should only reflect what the human eye can see.
Language Banks at argue, opinion
Giving your personal opinion
In my opinion ▪, everyone should have some understanding of science.
▪ Everyone should, in my opinion ▪, have some understanding of science.
It seems to me that ▪ many people in this country have a poor understanding of science.
▪ This is, in my view ▪, the result of a failure of the scientific community to get its message across.
▪ Another reason why so many people have such a poor understanding of science is, I believe ▪, the lack of adequate funding for science in schools.
▪ Smith argues that science is separate from culture. My own view is that ▪ science belongs with literature, art, philosophy and religion as an integral part of our culture.
In this writer's opinion ▪, the more the public know about science, the less they will fear and distrust it.
Synonyms at think
Language Banks at according to, argue, impersonal, nevertheless, perhaps
think • see • envisage • envision
These words all mean to form an idea in your mind of what sb/sth might be like.
imagine • to form an idea in your mind of what sb/sth might be like: ▪ The house was just as she had imagined it.
think • to imagine sth that might happen or might have happened: ▪ We couldn't think where you'd gone. ◊ ▪ Just think ▪ — this time tomorrow we'll be lying on a beach.
see • to consider sth as a future possibility; to imagine sb as sth: ▪ I can't see her changing her mind. ◊ ▪ His colleagues see him as a future director.
envisage • (especially BrE) to imagine what will happen in the future: ▪ I don't envisage working with him again.
The usual word for this in American English is envision (see below).
envision • to imagine what a situation will be like in the future, especially a situation that you intend to work towards: ▪ They envision an equal society, free from poverty and disease.
Envision is used especially in business and political contexts. In North American English it is also used as another form of the word envisage: ▪ I don't envision working with him again.
to imagine/see/envisage/envision sb/sth as sth
to imagine/see/envisage/envision (sb) doing sth
to imagine/think/see/envisage/envision who/what/how…
to imagine/think/envisage/envision that…
believe • feel • reckon • be under the impression
These words all mean to have an idea that sth is true or possible or to have a particular opinion about sb/sth.
think • to have an idea that sth is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about sb/sth: ▪ Do you think (that) they'll come? ◊ ▪ Well, I like it. What do you think?
believe • to have an idea that sth is true or possible, although you are not completely certain; to have a particular opinion about sb/sth: ▪ Police believe (that) the man may be armed.
think or believe?
When you are expressing an idea that you have or that sb has of what is true or possible, believe is more formal than think. It is used especially for talking about ideas that other people have; think is used more often for talking about your own ideas: ▪ Police believe… ◊ ▪ I think… When you are expressing an opinion, believe is stronger than think and is used especially for matters of principle; think is used more for practical matters or matters of personal taste.
feel • to have a particular opinion about sth that has happened or about what you/sb ought to do: ▪ We all felt (that) we were unlucky to lose.
reckon • (informal) to think that sth is true or possible: ▪ I reckon (that) I'm going to get that job.
be under the impression that… • to have an idea that sth is true: ▪ I was under the impression that the work had already been completed.
to think/believe/feel/reckon/be under the impression that…
It is thought/believed/reckoned that…
to be thought/believed/felt/reckoned to be sth
to think/believe/feel sth about sb/sth
to sincerely/honestly/seriously/mistakenly think/believe/feel
• Did you honestly think I would agree to that?
• He seemed to have lost the ability to think rationally.
• I hate to think what would have happened if we hadn't arrived.
• I never thought you would carry out your threat.
• I often think of Jane.
• I personally think it's all been a lot of fuss over nothing.
• I still don't know what he really thinks about it.
• I suddenly thought of a way I could help.
• I'm inclined to think we've been a little harsh on her.
• She thought long and hard before accepting his offer.
• That's my opinion, but you might think otherwise.
• The drugs were affecting her and she couldn't think straight.
• Think about what you are going to do next.
• What can I do now? he thought frantically.
• What did you think of the film?
• You need to think big if you want to run this business.
• You really should think again about that.
• ‘Is he any good?’ ‘I don't think so.’
• ‘Will we make it in time?’ ‘I think so.’
• Am I right in thinking that you used to live here?
• Do you think (that) they'll come?
• He's thought to be one of the richest men in Europe.
• I can't tell you now— I'll have to think about it.
• I can't think (that) he would be so stupid.
• I didn't think you liked sports.
• I never thought (that) I'd see her again.
• I think it highly unlikely that I'll get the job.
• I think this is their house, but I'm not sure.
• I'm sorry, I wasn't thinking.
• It was once thought that the sun travelled around the earth.
• Just think — this time tomorrow we'll be lying on a beach.
• Let me think.
• We couldn't think where you'd gone.
• We'll need about 20 chairs, I should think.
• Well, I like it. What do you think?
• You'd think she'd have been grateful for my help.
• You're very quiet. What are you thinking?
Idioms: I don't think so ▪ I thought as much ▪ come to think of it ▪ have a think ▪ if you think about it ▪ think again ▪ think better of it doing something ▪ think better of somebody ▪ think nothing of it ▪ think nothing of of doing something ▪ think on your feet ▪ think out loud ▪ think out of the box ▪ think straight ▪ think the world/highly/a lot/not much/poorly/little of somebody ▪ think twice about about doing something ▪ you've got another think coming
Derived: think ahead ▪ think back ▪ think for yourself ▪ think of somebody ▪ think of somebody as somebody ▪ think of something ▪ think something out ▪ think something over ▪ think something through ▪ think something up
Old English thencan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German denken.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
think / θɪŋk / verb ( thought , thought ) (CONSIDER)
A1 [ I or T ] to believe something or have an opinion or idea:
[ + (that) ] I think (that) I've met you before.
I don't think Emma will get the job.
"Do you think (that) you could get me some stamps while you're in town?"
[ + noun/adj ] Salmon used to be thought expensive/thought a luxury.
[ + to infinitive ] He was thought to have boarded the plane in New York.
What did you think of the film?
What do you think about this latest government scheme?
I think it is important to learn English.
B2 [ I ] to consider a person's needs or wishes:
She's always thinking of others.
think / θɪŋk / verb ( thought , thought ) (DECIDE)
A2 to use the brain to decide to do something:
[ + of+ -ing verb ] I'm thinking of taking up running.
[ + (that) ] I think (that) I'll go swimming after lunch.
I'm thinking about buying a new car.
think / θɪŋk / verb ( thought , thought ) (REASON)
B1 [ I ] to use the brain to plan something, solve a problem, understand a situation, etc.:
What are you thinking, Peter?
He just does these things without thinking and he gets himself into such a mess.
You think too much - that's your problem.
I'm sorry I forgot to mention your name. I just wasn't think ing .
think long and hard ( also think twice ) C1 to think very carefully about something:
I should think long and hard before you make any important decisions.
If burglars could realize how deeply they hurt people by invading their homes and stealing their treasured belongings, they might think twice before doing it.
think aloud UK ( US think out loud ) to automatically say what you are thinking:
"What did you say?" "Oh, nothing, I was just thinking aloud."
think / θɪŋk / verb [ I usually + adv/prep ] ( thought , thought ) (REMEMBER)
B1 to remember or imagine:
I was just thinking about you when you phoned.
She was so busy she didn't think to tell me about it.
© Cambridge University Press 2013
thinks, thinking, thought
1) VERB: no cont If you think that something is the case, you have the opinion that it is the case.
[V that] I certainly think there should be a ban on tobacco advertising...
[V that] Do you think I ought to seal the boxes up?...
[it be V-ed that] A generation ago, it was thought that babies born this small could not survive...
[V of/about n] Tell me, what do you think of my theory?...
Peter is useless, far worse than I thought...
[V adj] He manages a good deal better than I thought possible...
[V so/not] `It ought to be stopped.' - `Yes, I think so.' [Also V n to-inf]
2) VERB: no cont If you say that you think that something is true or will happen, you mean that you have the impression that it is true or will happen, although you are not certain of the facts.
[V that] Nora thought he was seventeen years old...
[V that] Do you think she was embarrassed about it?...
[V that] She's in Napa, I think...
[be V-ed to-inf] The storm is thought to be responsible for as many as four deaths...
[V so/not] `Did Mr Stevens ever mention her to you?' - `No, I don't think so.'.
3) VERB: no cont, no passive If you think in a particular way, you have those general opinions or attitudes.
[V like n] You were probably brought up to think like that...
[V like n] He can keep matters under control by silencing the demonstrators and others who think like them...
[V as/like cl] If you think as I do, vote as I do...
[V n] I don't blame you for thinking that way.
4) VERB When you think about ideas or problems, you make a mental effort to consider them.
She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to think...
[V about n/wh] I have often thought about this problem...
[V about n/wh] Next time you have a problem, think about how you can improve the situation instead of dwelling on all the negative aspects...
[V wh] Let's think what we can do...
[V wh-to-inf] We had to think what to do next.
N-SING: a N
Think is also a noun. [mainly BRIT] I'll have a think about that.
5) VERB: no passive If you think in a particular way, you consider things, solve problems, or make decisions in this way, for example because of your job or your background.
[V prep] To make the computer work at full capacity, the programmer has to think like the machine...
[V prep] I meet many businessmen, and I see they think in terms of the overall picture...
[V n] The referee has to think the way the players do.
6) VERB: no cont If you think of something, it comes into your mind or you remember it.
[V of n] Nobody could think of anything to say...
[V of n] I can't think of any reason why he should do that...
[V of n] I just can't think of his name...
[V wh] I was trying to think what else we had to do.
7) VERB If you think of an idea, you make a mental effort and use your imagination and intelligence to create it or develop it.
[V of n] He thought of another way of getting out of the marriage...
[V of n] I don't know why I never thought of that.
8) VERB: no passive If you are thinking something at a particular moment, you have words or ideas in your mind without saying them out loud.
[V with quote] She must be ill, Tatiana thought...
[V wh/that] I remember thinking how lovely he looked...
[V n] I'm trying to think positive thoughts.
9) VERB: no cont If you think of someone or something as having a particular quality or purpose, you regard them as having this quality or purpose.
[V of n as n/-ing] We all thought of him as a father...
[V of n as n/-ing] He thinks of it as his home...
[V of n as n/-ing] In China bats are thought of as being very lucky...
[V n adj] Nobody had thought him capable of that kind of thing.
10) VERB: no cont If you think a lot of someone or something, you admire them very much or think they are very good.
[V amount of n] To tell the truth, I don't think much of psychiatrists...
[V amount of n] The Director thought a good deal of him...
[V adv of n] People at the club think very highly of him...
[V adv of n] He seemed to be a good man, well thought of by all.
11) VERB If you think of someone, you show consideration for them and pay attention to their needs.
[V of n] I'm only thinking of you...
[V of n] You never think of anyone but yourself...
[V of n] We have the interest of 500,000 customers to think of...
[V about n] You don't have to think about me and Hugh.
12) VERB If you are thinking of taking a particular course of action, you are considering it as a possible course of action.
[V of -ing/n] Martin was thinking of taking legal action against Zuckerman...
[V of -ing/n] Have you ever thought of marrying?...
[V of -ing/n] It would be unwise for the government to think of privatisation as a means of saving money.
13) VERB: usu cont You can say that you are thinking of a particular aspect or subject, in order to introduce an example or explain more exactly what you are talking about.
[V of n] I'm primarily thinking of the first year...
[V of n] There is a theme of tragedy that runs through it: I'm thinking in particular of the story of Tom Howard.
14) VERB: only interrog (disapproval) You use think in questions where you are expressing your anger or shock at someone's behaviour.
[V that] Who does she think she is? Trying to make a fool of me like that...
[V that] You can't do this! What do you think you're doing?...
[V of n/-ing] What were you thinking of? You shouldn't steal.
15) VERB: no cont, no passive You use think when you are commenting on something which you did or experienced in the past and which now seems surprising, foolish, or shocking to you.
[V that] To think I left you alone in a place with a madman at large!...
[V of n] When I think of how you've behaved and the trouble you've got into!
16) VERB: no cont (disapproval) You can use think in expressions such as you would think or I would have thought when you are criticizing someone because they ought to or could be expected to do something, but have not done it.
[V that] You'd think you'd remember to wash your ears...
[V that] We would have thought he would have a more responsible attitude...
[V so] `Surely to God she should have been given some proper help.' - `Well I would have thought so.' [Also V]
17) VERB: no cont You can use think in expressions such as anyone would think and you would think to express your surprise or disapproval at the way someone is behaving.
[V that] Anyone would think you were in love with the girl...
[V that] You'd think you had never seen a door before!
18) → See also thinking, thought
19) PHRASE: PHR with cl You use expressions such as come to think of it, when you think about it, or thinking about it, when you mention something that you have suddenly remembered or realized.
He was her distant relative, as was everyone else on the island, come to think of it...
When you think about it, he's probably right.
20) PHRASE: PHR that, PHR with cl, PHR so/not (politeness) You use `I think' as a way of being polite when you are explaining or suggesting to someone what you want to do, or when you are accepting or refusing an offer.
I think I'll go home and have a shower...
We need a job, and I thought we could go around and ask if people need odd jobs done...
Time for a pint of beer, I think...
`Would you like to do that another time.' - `Yes I think so.'
21) PHRASE: PHR that, PHR with cl, PHR so/not (vagueness) You use `I think' in conversations or speeches to make your statements and opinions sound less forceful, rude, or direct.
I think he means `at' rather than `to'...
Thanks, but I think I can handle it...
This is, I think, much, much more important...
`You've got it wrong.' - `I think not.'
22) PHRASE: PHR with cl, PHR wh You say just think when you feel excited, fascinated, or shocked by something, and you want the person to whom you are talking to feel the same.
Just think; tomorrow we shall walk out of this place and leave it all behind us forever...
Just think how snug and cosy we could be.
23) PHRASE: oft PHR about n/-ing If you think again about an action or decision, you consider it very carefully, often with the result that you change your mind and decide to do things differently.
It has forced politicians to think again about the wisdom of trying to evacuate refugees...
He intends to ask the court to think again.
24) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR -ing If you think nothing of doing something that other people might consider difficult, strange, or wrong, you consider it to be easy or normal, and you do it often or would be quite willing to do it.
I thought nothing of betting ₤1,000 on a horse.
25) PHRASE: V inflects If something happens and you think nothing of it, you do not pay much attention to it or think of it as strange or important, although later you realize that it is.
When she went off to see her parents for the weekend I thought nothing of it...
One of Tony's friends, David, kept coming to my house but I didn't think anything of it.
26) you can't hear yourself think → see hear
to shudder to think → see shudder
to think better of it → see better
to think big → see big
to think twice → see twice
to think the world of → see world
- think back
- think out
- think over
- think through
- think up
1think /ˈɵɪŋk/ verb thinks; thought /ˈɵɑːt/; think·ing
1 : to believe that something is true, that a particular situation exists, that something will happen, etc.
- often + that
• I thought (that) I heard your voice.
• She thinks (that) she knows the answer.
• I think (that) you can do it.
• We didn't think [=expect] (that) we would have any trouble.
• Did you really/honestly think (that) I would agree with you?
• I never thought (that) I would become a teacher.
• Who would have thought (that) we would meet each other here?
• He never thought (that) she would leave him.
• I hate to think (that) we will never see each other again.
• It was once thought (that) the Earth was flat. = The Earth was once thought to be flat.
• He is thought to have drowned.
• “Has she accepted the job?” “I (don't) think so.”
• Am I right in thinking (that) you used to work there?
• “I can beat you.” “That's what you think.” [=you might believe that you can beat me, but you're wrong]
• “Where is he?” “He's still at home.” “I thought as much.” [=I thought he was still at home]
• Well, yes. I should think so.
• You would think (that) the school would have dictionaries in the classrooms. [=the school should have dictionaries in the classroom]
• $50 is enough, I would have thought.
• It's going to be much more difficult than they think. [=suspect, expect]
• We may finish sooner than you think.
2 : to have an opinion about someone or something
• It's hot in here, don't you think? [=don't you agree?]
• People think he is one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. = He is thought to be one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
• I think he should apologize. = I should/would think he would apologize.
• Is this a good use of our tax dollars? I think not/so. [=I don't/do believe that it is]
• You should think yourself [=consider yourself] lucky/fortunate to have gotten off with only a warning!
- often + that
• I thought (that) the movie was excellent.
• He thinks (that) he is a good writer.
• Where do you think (that) we should eat?
• Do you think (that) we should buy the house?
• They think (that) it is unfair to have a rule like that. = They think it unfair to have a rule like that.
- + about or of
• What did you think about/of the movie? [=did you like or dislike the movie?]
• I told him exactly what I thought of him!
3 : to form or have (a particular thought) in your mind
• “He's handsome,” she thought (to herself).
• You should relax and try to think pleasant thoughts.
• I was just thinking what it would be like to be a doctor.
• I dread to think how he will react.
• Why do you always think the worst?
• Just think how nice it would be to live here.
• Just think—in two days we'll be on vacation, lying on the beach.
- usually + about or of
• I was just thinking about you.
• I was thinking of the time we rented that cabin in the mountains.
• Just think about how much money we'll save.
4 a : to use your mind to understand or decide something
• Think before you answer the question.
• The game teaches students how to think.
• Let me think. Where did I see your car keys?
• We thought long and hard about it before we reached our decision.
• Don't disturb him: he's thinking.
• You have to think positive/positively if you want to succeed.
- often + about
• The lecture gave the students a lot to think about.
• I have thought very deeply about this problem, trying to find an answer.
• Think about the offer. You might change your mind.
• Do you ever think about what you are going to do after you graduate?
• If/When you think about it, the argument does make sense.
• Give me a minute to think what to do.
• He couldn't think where they would have gone.
• You're awfully quiet. What are you thinking?
• I can't believe he did that! What was he thinking?
b [+ obj] : to have thoughts about (something)
• She talks and thinks business all the time.
• He is always thinking [=thinking about] money.
5 [+ obj] : to remember (something)
• Can you think where you put it?
• She was trying to think where she had heard that name before.
- often followed by to + verb
• Neither of us thought to close the garage door.
• She never thinks to call home.
• He never thought to ask how we are doing.
6 [+ obj] : to have thoughts about possibly doing (something) : to have the intention of doing (something)
• I think I'll give him a call today.
7 [+ obj]
- used to make a statement or suggestion less definite
• They used to live here, I think. [=I believe that they used to live here, although I'm not sure]
• I thought maybe we could go for a walk in the park.
• I was thinking we might have dinner together some time.
- used to politely ask someone to do something or give you something
• Do you think (that) you could give me a ride to the airport? [=could you give me a ride to the airport?]
• Do you think I could borrow the car tonight, Dad?
- used in questions that show anger or surprise about what someone has done or is doing
• What do you think you're doing? I just said you couldn't have one.
• Where do you think you're going? [=where are you going?] No one gave you permission to leave.
• Who do you think you are, barging in here like that?
come to think of it
- see 1come
don't even think about (doing) it informal
- used to tell someone in a forceful way that something is not allowed
• It's illegal to park here. Don't even think about it!
not think anything of : to not think of (something) as being important or unusual
• I didn't think anything of it at the time—but it turned out to be the clue that would solve the case.
• I didn't think anything of his wearing a long coat since it was cold outside.
not think much of : to not like (someone or something) very much
• They didn't think much of my idea.
• Though the singer was very popular, she didn't think much of him.
think again informal
- used to say that what someone believes, expects, etc., is not true or will not happen
• If you think you can get away with this, think again. [=you are wrong]
think ahead : to prepare for a future event or situation by thinking about what might happen
• We should have thought ahead and brought an umbrella.
think aloud or think out loud : to say your thoughts so that other people can hear them
• No, I wasn't talking to you. I was just thinking out loud.
think back [phrasal verb] : to think about something that happened in the past - often + to
• Thinking back to my childhood, I remember summers at the beach.
• Think back to that night. What were you doing?
think better of : to decide not to do (something) after thinking further about it
• She was going to make a comment but thought better of it.
- see 2big
- see 1fit
think for yourself : to form opinions and make decisions without help from other people
• Don't let others tell you what to believe. You need to learn to think for yourself.
think less of : to not respect (someone) as much as you did before : to have a worse opinion of (someone)
• I hope you don't think (any) less of me now that you know about the trouble I got into when I was younger.
think nothing of
1 : to not hesitate at all about (doing something that other people think is very difficult or dangerous)
• She thinks nothing of running 10 miles.
2 think nothing of it
- used as a polite response when someone has apologized to you or thanked you
• “Thanks for the ride.” “Think nothing of it—I was going in this direction anyway.”
• “I'm so sorry.” “It's all right. Think nothing of it.”
think of [phrasal verb]
1 think of (something)
a : to have thoughts about possibly doing (something)
• She is thinking of applying to grad school.
• He thought of sending an e-mail but decided against it.
• She couldn't think of ever leaving her children.
b : to use your mind to form or invent (something)
• The best plan they could think of was to leave.
• “Can you give me an example?” “I'll think of something.”
• I can't think of one reason why you shouldn't do it.
• Cell phones that can access the Internet and take pictures—what will they think of next?
c : to remember (something)
• I can think of plenty of other times when you were wrong.
• I can't think of her name at the moment.
• I just thought of a good joke.
• She thought of her old home when she saw the picture.
2 think of (someone or something)
a : to have a particular kind of opinion about (someone or something)
• The hiring committee thought highly of her. [=had a high opinion of her]
• She thinks a great deal of her doctor. [=she likes/respects her doctor very much]
• I wouldn't want you to think badly of me.
• He thinks the world of his family. [=his family is very important to him]
b : to form or have an idea about (someone or something)
• People are thinking of her for president. [=are thinking that she should be the president]
• Are you thinking of any place in particular?
• I am thinking of a number between 1 and 10.
• I'll be thinking of you in my prayers.
• He thinks of them with great affection.
c : to be concerned about (someone or something) when you make decisions about what to do
• I must think first of my family.
• You should think of your job security.
• She is always thinking of the welfare of others.
3 think of (someone or something) as (someone or something) : to believe that (someone or something) is (a particular type of person or thing) or has (a particular quality)
• He thinks of himself as a good writer. [=he thinks/believes that he is a good writer]
• I think of you guys as my family.
• Play can be thought of as a child's work since it is through play that children learn.
think out [phrasal verb] think out (something) or think (something) out : to think about (something, such as a problem) for a period of time in an effort to find a solution, make a decision, etc.
• He spent hours thinking out the solution to the physics problem.
• I need time to think things out.
• The details of the contract have been carefully thought out.
• Your argument is well thought out.
think outside the box
- see 1box
think over [phrasal verb] think (something) over or think over (something) : to think about (something) for a period of time especially in an effort to understand or make a decision about it
• I'll give you time to think the matter over.
• Think it over, and let me know what you decide.
• I've thought over what you said, and you're right.
think through [phrasal verb] think (something) through or think through (something) : to think about all the different parts or effects of (something) for a period of time especially in an effort to understand or make a decision about it
• I need time to think this through.
• We have thought through the matter and have come to a decision.
think twice informal : to think seriously about whether you really want to do something before you do it
• I'd think twice about/before doing that if I were you.
think up [phrasal verb] think up (something) or think (something) up informal : to use your mind to form or invent (something)
• Quick! We have to think up an excuse.
• They thought up a new way of raising money for charity.
- used to express surprise or shock
• To think (that) he lied to you!
• To think, all we needed to do was to wait a few more days.