All of the typical synonyms I can think of refer both to the act of making a decision and what you came to as your conclusion.


  • Decision (I made a decision, and it resulted in my decision)


  • A choice (I made a choice, and what I picked was my choice)
  • A selection (My selection resulted in a selection)

Is this an inherent flaw in English that the noun to describe a question with options is also a valid noun for the answer you pick? If not, can anyone find a synonym which works in this context?

  • @medica true, though it didn't seem to stop others from adding more potential answers and comments fortunately!
    – Acey
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:41

6 Answers 6


You say you want a word for just the thinking part of it, not the decision you've made? If I understand you correctly (and I'm not sure I have):

I have deliberated (noun: deliberation): to think carefully and often slowly, as about a choice to be made. (TFD)

My heart has been heavy and I have deliberated within my own conscience, knowing that my decision should not come out of my initial emotion of anger toward the President for such reckless behavior, but should be based on the facts. - Blanche Lincoln

Lots of synonyms: consider, think, ponder, reflect upon, mull over, etc.

Probably the most common word is think: I have thought about it.

Edited to include nouns: thoughts, reflections, contemplations, deliberations.

  • I'm looking for a noun to represent the act of thinking of it that doesn't also describe the outcome. 'Decision' is noun used to describe picking between different options, but it is also a noun to describe what you decide. This is hard to describe, sorry if I'm unclear.
    – Acey
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 8:57
  • But to your suggestion, deliberation might be suitable...
    – Acey
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 8:57
  • 1
    If you give the matter some 'thought', you end up with your 'thoughts' on the matter. Ponder and deliberate seem to stand independently, however. I'm not sure why the OP got down-voted. I thought it was quite a good question.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 9:51

A more informal alternative to deliberate is mull. You can also say mull over something before arriving at a decision. This might take a few minutes or even days, it usually involves a problem where the solution is not readily apparent. You need time to mull things over in your mind, you can be going about with your normal routine and everyday life while at the back of your mind there is always the "problem" and that final decision which has to be taken.

Oxford Dictionaries define mull as:

Think about (something) deeply and at length

The Free Dictionary defines mull over something as an idiom and offers these examples

  • That's an interesting idea, but I'll have to mull it over.
  • I'll mull over your suggestions and reply to you next week.
  • 1
    I offered mull and mull something over even though medica's answer supplied that synonym because I like it :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 10:27

Perhaps you may query, or ponder, or process the options / problems to arrive at a decision. (Also vacillate - which is more if you are indecisive)


The original question uses the word "decision" incorrectly. A decision is only made after deliberating, pondering, mulling over, thinking about, examining the options, etc.

A decision is not a word that is used while one is still in the questioning phase.

  • 1
    No, it uses decision perfectly correctly. When you make a decision, that is an act, one of choosing between options A and B (for example). If you choose A, then A also becomes your decision, or more commonly, your choice. You make a choice between A and B, and the one you choose is also your choice. That’s the dilemma the asker was going for. Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:09
  • @JanusBahsJacquet yes, you hit the nail on the head, that's my issue.
    – Acey
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:44

If what you are looking for is a noun that describes one of the available "choices" and not the single "choice" you ultimately pick, then your question contains that noun: option.


You've accepted an answer already, but I think what you really want is the word "dilemma".

  • 1
    How in the world would dilemma ever mean anything like what Acey is looking for here? “I made/took a dilemma” doesn’t mean anything like “I made a decision” … Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 15:07

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