• WordNet 3.6
    • adj pensive showing pensive sadness "the sensitive and wistful response of a poet to the gentler phases of beauty"
    • adj pensive 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"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Pensive Expressing or suggesting thoughtfulness with sadness; as, pensive numbers.
    • Pensive Thoughtful, sober, or sad; employed in serious reflection; given to, or favorable to, earnest or melancholy musing. "The pensive secrecy of desert cell.""Anxious cares the pensive nymph oppressed."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • pensive Engaged in serious thought or reflection; given to earnest musing: often implying some degree of anxiety, depression, or gloom; thoughtful and somewhat melancholy.
    • pensive Expressing thoughtfulness with sadness; betokening or conducive to thoughtful or earnest musing.
    • pensive Synonyms Meditative, reflective, sober.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Pensive pen′siv thoughtful: reflecting: expressing thoughtfulness with sadness
    • ***


  • John Milton
    “Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train.”
  • Trina Paulus
    Trina Paulus
    “?How does one become a butterfly? she asked pensively. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. pensif, fr. penser, to think, fr. L. pensare, to weigh, ponder, consider, v. intens. fr. pendere, to weigh. See Pension Poise
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. pensif—L. pensāre, to weigh—pendĕre, to weigh.


In literature:

A vesper-sparrow sang its pensive song.
"The Maid-At-Arms" by Robert W. Chambers
He was one of those whom crime leaves pensive; he had the brow of an incendiary tempered by the eyes of an archbishop.
"The Man Who Laughs" by Victor Hugo
Beautiful firs pensively wave their soft branches over the grave.
"Sketches of the Covenanters" by J. C. McFeeters
He must have been good-looking, or you would not be so pensive.
"Gordon Keith" by Thomas Nelson Page
Was that astonishing young lady in truth identical with the pensive figure of the morning?
"The Marriage of William Ashe" by Mrs. Humphry Ward
Forget him, pretty pensiveness; there will Come others, every day, as good as he.
"Bracebridge Hall" by Washington Irving
She was still sitting where he left her, at the head of the table, pale, pensive, but not otherwise disturbed.
"The Street Called Straight" by Basil King
Bill was staring pensively at his cigarette.
"The Story of the Foss River Ranch" by Ridgwell Cullum
The pure and pensive face seemed to answer him.
"Audrey" by Mary Johnston
Selma was in a pensive frame of mind this morning.
"Unleavened Bread" by Robert Grant

In poetry:

Why dost thou come at set of sun,
Those pensive words to say?
Why whip poor Will?--What has he done?
And who is Will, I pray?
"The Whip-Poor-Will." by George Pope Morris
I ask the stars, when mortals sleep,
The pensive moon, the lonely winds;
But, haply if they know, they keep
The secret of secluded minds.
"The Door Of Humility" by Alfred Austin
Fair maid, in those beloved eyes,
The dream of pensive beauty lies,
The radiance when the day grows less,
The charm of twilight loveliness.
"To Fannie" by James Avis Bartley
It was but yester morn
Ere I was thus forlorn;
The merry lark I heard,
And then I did thee wrong,
In loving more her song
Than thine, O pensive bird!
"The Love-Sick Girl And The Nightingale" by Peter John Allan
Yet here should pensive pilgrim stray
At soft'ning eve, or fervent noon,
Here may we heave the sigh and say,
'Ah! wherefore droop'd the flow'r so soon!'
"An Elegy" by Hector MacNeill
The great stars and the little ones shall shine out again—they
The vast immortal suns, and the long-enduring pensive moons, shall
again shine.
"On The Beach At Night" by Walt Whitman

In news:

But now convicted on 17 counts, the former governor is somber and pensive.
Not Cro-Magnon shaggy, not Frida Kahlo crazy, but pensive-seeming, maybe, like I'm chewing on a serious thought instead of counting down to the Top Chef finale.
Visually charged, spooky, pensive local Rock band acts it out live.
A sensitive, original melodist, he found his forte in pensive song-soliloquys.
Pensive piano, plaintive strings and poetic lyrics go from simple to symphonic.
Hopper's Pensive Lady In Pink Travels The World.
'Barchords': An Intense, Pensive Album About Love.
Bill Evans' light touch was pensive and intellectualized.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn't nearly as pensive Sunday morning in his interview with media members as he was in this 2005 file photo.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn't nearly as pensive Monday with local reporters as he was in this 2005 file photo.
Charlie Brown and Linus are in a pensive mood for the holiday more.
California-based indie Hip Hop artist K. Flay writes pensive music that's both self-reflective and dynamic.
His eclectic sound and pensive lyrics have helped raise awareness about the impoverished Caribbean nation, while inspiring hope among its youth.
Stephen Schwartz musical 'Working' is a sometimes upbeat, sometimes pensive show.
Sixteen-year-old Jerrell Stafford stands before a photograph of two interwoven hands—one black, one white—and pensively holds his own to mirror the image.

In science:

The majestic face, with the almond shaped eye and the elegant profile, has a pensive expression which reveals the solemnity of the moment.
Optimization in Differentiable Manifolds in Order to Determine the Method of Construction of Prehistoric Wall-Paintings