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.


    New Member
    Anything, "mull" is more appropriate here and does not give imagery of distress. "Ruminate," does much more. Akin to, "dwell on" and, "agonize over." 🐄🐮😸❔👨‍🍳
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