I thought I could use muse like this:

I must have been musing for too long because my stomach began to groan.

But it doesn't seem to be the right usage.

What's a better word? (To avoid writing "... been musing on these thoughts ...)

  • What's wrong with thinking? Musing is a little old-fashioned. Ruminating is possible, but some readers might not know what it means. If thinking is too prosaic for you, you could say "dwelling on these thoughts", but I'd go for thinking. It's simple, direct, and easily understood. Forget about five-dollar words.
    – Mick
    Dec 3, 2016 at 9:53
  • @Mick I'm looking for a word that has "thinking" embedded in it.
    – alex
    Dec 3, 2016 at 9:55
  • You could possibly use deep-thinking or over-thinking (but, curmudgeon that I am, I wouldn't). OneLook Dictionary Search is a useful tool.
    – Mick
    Dec 3, 2016 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


To brood conveys the meaning you looking for: ​

  • to think for a long time about things that make you sad, worried, or angry: I wish she wouldn't sit brooding in her room all day.

also Ruminate:

  • (formal) to think carefully and for a long period about something: She ruminated for weeks about whether to tell him or not.

Cambridge Dictionary


I would use 'pondering', 'contemplating' or as suggested above, 'thinking'.

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