mull something over vs ruminate

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Senior Member
What is the difference:

a) I mull things over vs I am ruminating.

b) She needs to mull over what to study next year vs She needs to ruminate what to study next year.

Thank you in advance.
  • irinet

    Senior Member
    It seems to me that both ('ruminate about/on, mull over') mean to think and give careful consideration to what to study for the next year. So, they look synonymous to me.


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I would only use "mull over" in reference to the process of coming to a decision, whereas "ruminate," it seems to me, applies to any kind of deep, reflective thinking.

    "She needed a full week to mull over the offer."
    "He sat by the fire all evening, ruminating about past loves."


    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I agree with Glenfarclas, and I wouldn't use either of those terms in your what-to-study sentence. I'd say: She needs to decide what to study next year. OR: She needs to think about what to study next year.

    Glenfarclas's examples for "mull over" and "ruminate" are good ones. Don't use both in the same sentence.
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