a) Pertaining to one who contemplates or is introspective and thoughtful.

1873 Compared with the greatest poets, he may be said to be the poet of unpoetical natures, possessed of quiet and contemplative tastes. But unpoetical natures are precisely those which require poetic cultivation. This cultivation Wordsworth is much more fitted to give, than poets who are intrinsically far more poets than he. — John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, [ Chapter 5.]

b) Pertaining especially to a contemplative Roman Catholic religious or one of the contemplative Roman Catholic religious orders.

1870 Whether the nuns of yore, being of a submissive rather than a stiff-necked generation, habitually bent their contemplative heads to avoid collision with the beams in the low ceilings of the many chambers of their House [...] may be matters of interest to its haunting ghosts (if any), but constitute no item in Miss Twinkletons half-yearly accounts. — Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, [ Chapter 3]

2. noun
A cloistered Roman Catholic religious.

The Dominican is the image of St. Dominic. As a canon of Osma, before he became an apostole, he was a contemplative. Here is how Jordan of Saxony describes these years at Osma: "Day and night he frequented the church, giving himself without interruption to prayer. Redeeming the time by contemplation, he scarcely left the walls of the monastery." — William A. Hinnebusch, O.P., Dominican Spirituality: Principles and Practice [ online here]

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  • Contemplative — Con*tem pla*tive, a. [F. contemplatif, L. contemplativus.] 1. Pertaining to contemplation; addicted to, or employed in, contemplation; meditative. [1913 Webster] Fixed and contemplative their looks. Denham. [1913 Webster] 2. Having the power of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Contemplative — Con*tem pla*tive, n. (R. C. Ch.) A religious or either sex devoted to prayer and meditation, rather than to active works of charity. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • contemplative — index circumspect, cogitative, deliberate, pensive, politic, speculative Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • contemplative — (adj.) mid 14c., from O.Fr. contemplatif (12c.), from L. contemplativus, from contemplat , pp. stem of contemplari (see CONTEMPLATION (Cf. contemplation)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • contemplative — meditative, reflective, *thoughtful, speculative, pensive Analogous words: *intent, rapt, engrossed, absorbed: musing, ruminating, pondering (see PONDER): reflecting, cogitating, reasoning, thinking (see THINK) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • contemplative — [adj] deep in thought attentive, cogitative, in brown study*, intent, introspective, lost, meditative, musing, pensive, pondering, rapt, reflecting, reflective, ruminative, speculative, thinking, thoughtful; concepts 402,403 Ant. disdainful,… …   New thesaurus

  • contemplative — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ expressing or involving contemplation. ► NOUN ▪ a person whose life is devoted to prayer, especially in a monastery or convent. DERIVATIVES contemplatively adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • contemplative — [kən tem′plə tiv΄, kän′təm plāt΄iv] adj. [ME contemplatif < OFr < L contemplativus] of or inclined to contemplation; thoughtful; meditative n. one who is dedicated to religious meditation, esp. in a religious order SYN. PENSIVE… …   English World dictionary

  • contemplative — ● contemplatif, contemplative adjectif et nom (latin contemplativus) Qui se livre à la contemplation : C est un esprit contemplatif. ● contemplatif, contemplative (citations) adjectif et nom (latin contemplativus) Georges Charles, dit Joris Karl… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • contemplative — [[t]kənte̱mplətɪv[/t]] ADJ GRADED Someone who is contemplative thinks deeply, or is thinking in a serious and calm way. Martin is a quiet, contemplative sort of chap... I went for long, contemplative walks by the river... Life there is slow and… …   English dictionary

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