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I think a lot about various things. While not working, I think about something, and this is what I do during most of my available time. What would be a good adjective to describe that. At first I thought "big-time thinker", but looks like that has a different meaning. Any ideas?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You could say that you are an inveterate thinker:

inveterate |1nˈvɛdərət| adjective [ attrib. ] having a particular habit, activity, or interest that is long-established and unlikely to change : he was an inveterate gambler.

• (of a feeling or habit) long-established and unlikely to change.


Note: this adjective is quite often used in relation to a bad habit, so there may be a better, more positive term—maybe just habitual.

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I like "habitual". – Hellion Jun 5 '11 at 0:58
+1 for habitual, which is the word I'd have suggested myself :) – scottishwildcat Jun 7 '11 at 13:48
Habitual brings to mind a sense of ritual or routine. I suppose it depends on whether you want to emphasize that you think often or that you think deeply or critically. – Rant Nov 28 '11 at 0:54

Perhaps a "dedicated" thinker, footballer, etc.

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Though strictly an exaggeration, I might suggest incessant thinker.

From The Free Dictionary:

incessant [ɪnˈsɛsənt]

adj not ceasing; continual

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incessant brings negative connotations of irritation or discourteous, like incessant chatter or incessant meddling – Rant Nov 28 '11 at 0:50

To ruminate is to think constantly — possibly obsessively — about something.

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Ruminater. Cogitator. Philosopher. Meditater. Ponderer. Reflector.

Lots of possibilities. What you notice in the kinds of words given above is that each has a slightly different nuance, depending on the kind of thinking, depth of thinking, frequency of activity and subject matter.

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thanks for your answer but I would like to have a generic single word which can be used for any activity (not only thinking). So, I need an adjective for "doing something a lot". e.g. "<that single word> footballer", "<that single word> thinker" etc. I want to write the word "thinker" next to that single word. – Sandeepan Nath Jun 4 '11 at 20:00
Oh, I see now. Yes, it's "inveterate" as given above by Callithumpian. – The Raven Jun 5 '11 at 11:34

If you want to convey the idea that you just can't help thinking, you can call yourself a compulsive thinker. But this can also be seen as a disorder.

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I feel that compulsive makes it seem more like an inexplicable urge more than an actual affliction. – Rant Nov 28 '11 at 1:18

I used to call myself an incurable thinker, which not only conveys that you think often and to considerable depth, but also speaks to the longevity of the activity as a habit (essentially that you have no intention of "kicking" habitual pondering)

At first it may seem that the word associates with disease or malady too closely but based on extensive use in my personal experience, the connection is overlooked surprisingly often.

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I would say "binge thinker". Means almost the same as inveterate but trips off the tongue.

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A binge thinker sounds more like something taken to excess on the weekends, analogously to binge drinker. – tchrist Dec 1 '12 at 22:51

ADD or ADHD, scatter brain, philosopher, stoned, day dreamer.

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This is not a good answer. Good answers to single word requests explain why a particular word is suitable for the given topic. Please consider editing your answer to explain why you think the words are a good fit. – Matt E. Эллен Jun 5 '11 at 12:38

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