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I have this paragraph in my English textbook:

Loyalty is the third quality. Two friends must be loyal to each other and they must know each other so well that there can be no suspicions between them. We do not think much of people who readily believe rumours and gossip about their friends. Those who are easily influenced by rumours can never be good friends.
Source: English 11, via Speaking English

Looking up the meaning in Longman dictionary, I found 2 meanings of “thinking much of people” which are confusing to me:

1. to remember something

Ex: I can’t think of the name of the hotel we stayed in.

2. to behave in a way that shows that you want to treat other people well:

Ex: He’s always thinking of other people.
Source: Definition of “think” from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

Which one is more relevant to the phrase I have written? Can I re-write that phrase like this?

We do not remember people who readily believe rumours and gossip about their friends.

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Scroll down to definition 33 in Longman: not think much of somebody/something: to not like someone or something very much. I didn't think much of his new girlfriend. –  Tyler James Young Jun 13 at 18:08
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Longman is great, just remember to search for the phrase again (ctrl + F on the page) once you get to the list of definitions. –  Tyler James Young Jun 13 at 18:09
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See also definition 34: think highly of somebody/something also think a lot of somebody/something: to admire or respect someone or something: Your boss must think highly of you if she gives you so much responsibility. and definition 36: think badly of somebody also think less of somebody formal: to disapprove of someone or what they have done. (The definitions you quoted are simply for the word “think”, and do not address the “think much of” idiom.) –  Scott Jun 13 at 22:39
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Be careful not to confuse think much of with think much about someone/something, which does mean "to have someone/something in one's thoughts frequently". –  200_success Jun 14 at 5:46
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2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

To think much of someone is to think highly of them. To give them high regard or respect.

It is very often seen in the negative. I don't think much of him is used to refer to someone you dislike or disrespect for some reason.

I've never come across the expression being used in either of the senses that you quote in your question.

So your example; We don't think much of people who readily believe rumours indicates that such people are not highly regarded.

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+1 "don't think much of" means the same as "think poorly of" or "think little of". "Think much of" means the same as "think highly of" or "think well of" –  user568458 Jun 14 at 20:51
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To "think much of people" is to have a high opinion of them.

It is NOT to "remember" or think about them "a lot."

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