April 24, 2013
ruminate (verb)
\ROO-muh-nayt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : to go over in the mind repeatedly and often casually or slowly2 : to chew repeatedly for an extended period
How do you use it?
After she finished the book _Island of the Blue Dolphins_, Jori got a faraway look in her eyes as she ruminated about how the main character Karana survived all alone.
Are you a word wiz?

The habit of a certain animal helped to inspire the word "ruminate." Which of the following animals do you think exhibits a behavior that influenced the development of the word "ruminate"?

We hope you didn't have to think too long to decide on A. "Ruminate" derives from the Latin verb "ruminari," which in turn derives from "rumen," the name for the first stomach compartment of ruminant animals (that is, creatures like cows that chew their cud). The literal sense of "ruminate" refers to chewing food slightly, swallowing it, and bringing it back up into the mouth to chew some more. Since the late 1500s, "ruminate" has described the literal act of chewing something over in the mouth as well as the figurative act of going over and over something in the mind.
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