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used in a sentence
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Definition appearing deep in thought — typically looking sad or serious
  • She paced back and forth in the hospital waiting room—looking pensive.
pensive = appearing deep in thought
  • When asked about her future, she became pensive.
  • pensive = appearing deep in thought
  • and she was leaning pensive on a tombstone on her right elbow, under a weeping willow,
    Mark Twain  --  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • pensive = appearing deep in thought
  • Atticus looked pensive.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • pensive = deep in thought
  • Phoebe, at thirteen, was short for her age, chubby, still impulsive and impassioned, slow to learn but moving from joy to pensiveness to sadness and back to joy with an astonishing speed.
    Kim Edwards  --  The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • pensiveness = deep thought
    (Editor's note:  The suffix "-ness" converts an adjective to a noun that means the quality of. This is the same pattern you see in words like darkness, kindness, and coolness.)
  • Rawlins rode with one leg crossed in front of him, leaning on his knee and smoking pensively as he studied the country.
    Cormac McCarthy  --  All the Pretty Horses
  • pensively = with deep thought
  • "I almost missed the train," he said, pensive.
    Kim Edwards  --  The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Rosemary nodded, pensive.
    Kim Edwards  --  The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Or Phoebe's soft small hand suddenly on her knee, at a moment when Caroline was pensive or distracted, absorbed by the world and its concerns.
    Kim Edwards  --  The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Then she grew pensive.
    Kim Edwards  --  The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • She had her hand tucked around his elbow and was leaning down to speak to him, and he was nodding, pensive, frowning, looking across the gardens, beyond the gates, at whatever she wanted him to note.
    Kim Edwards  --  The Memory Keeper's Daughter
  • Her lips tense; she is pensive.
    Walter Dean Myers  --  Monster
  • And then he subsides into a pensive state, watches you furtively, bustles nervously with glasses, and presently leaves the bar.
    H.G. Wells  --  The Invisible Man
  • He looked at it pensively.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • "If it's work on the Troy ...." the admiral said, looking pensive.
    John Ringo  --  Live Free or Die
  • ROXANE (ironically): You are pensive?
    Edmond Rostand  --  Cyrano de Bergerac
  • He counted to twenty-three before she came back, her face drawn and pensive.
    Rick Riordan  --  The House of Hades
  • As I approached her, a pensive expression replaced the smile on her face.
    Bella Forrest  --  A Shade of Vampire
  • Inside, where a boy with an attractive, pensive look was emptying ashtrays into a bucket, last night's air still had a bluish look.
    Ian McEwan  --  Atonement
  • He gave me a pensive look.
    Chris Kyle  --  American Sniper

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