train of thought


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train of thought

One's uninterrupted progression of thinking. When the phone rang, it derailed my train of thought—I totally forget what I was talking about! Please don't interrupt my train of thought when I'm writing.
See also: of, thought, train

someone's train of thought

Fig. someone's pattern of thinking or sequence of ideas; what one was just thinking about. (See also .) My train of thought is probably not as clear as it should be. I cannot seem to follow your train of thought on this matter. Will you explain it a little more carefully, please?
See also: of, thought, train

train of thought

A succession of connected ideas, a path of reasoning, as in You've interrupted my train of thought; now what was I saying? This idiom, which uses train in the sense of "an orderly sequence," was first recorded in 1651, in philosopher Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan.
See also: of, thought, train

a train of ˈthought

the connected series of thoughts that are in your head at a particular time: The phone ringing interrupted my train of thought.
See also: of, thought, train

train of thought

A succession of connected ideas; a process of reasoning. This term appeared in Thomas Hobbes’s Leviathan (1651), and indeed Hobbes may have coined it. He defined it there as “that succession of one thought to another, which is called, to distinguish it from discourse in words, mental discourse.” It is still so used.
See also: of, thought, train
References in periodicals archive ?
"I think that the fact that you felt obliged to answer the call, thereby forcing your train of thought to make an unnecessary stop, completely confirms that you felt that the call required immediate attention."
Kneip can identify with this train of thought in regard to Stahl's control arm subassembly, knowing full well that the customer will be expecting more from them in the future.
Major depression includes not only feelings of intense sadness and despair but also a wandering, indecisive train of thought. Distinct brain areas involved in emotion and attention together foster both depression and ordinary bouts of sadness, according to a new study.
The dialogue is simplified and only includes the deeper discussions regarding one train of thought. A real discussion would have explored all of the different avenues raised.
Following out Brown's train of thought through the works of his legion students (Traylor and Winston included), it is today possible - as many in the academy are doing - to imagine African American literature at the very heart of American literature, to conceptualize a healthy cultural open-heartedness (call it "multiculturalism," "pluralism," or what you will), and to understand in a concrete way the constructedness of the world of discourse.
Jon Holme, the original Friar Laurence, offers a depiction so unaffected and nuanced, you feel you're seeing into the character's mind, following his train of thought. As Juliet's nurse, Jette Buchwald achieves her richest character portrayal to date.
Olaf: Not to interrupt your train of thought, but I've recently been hearing about an alternative approach to online data bases.
the water industry thought that "the solution to pollution was dilution and that train of thought was found to be not a very wise one.
Given an occasional "uh huh" or nod to let the talker know you are following his or her train of thought. If you are not, ask a question before you let the person go on too long, and you are really lost.
First, the user's train of thought is not interrupted as he or she switches from one program to another.
THE Wright Stuff host Richard Madeley's random train of thought stopping, during a debate about fireworks, at: "Can you get earmuffs for dogs?" ?
Their acknowledgement confirms a growing train of thought that they were the brokers Bates has been dealing with all summer.
Weld's runner this year, Train Of Thought, is also a newcomer to the smaller obstacles.
Understanding the Eastern European hacks train of thought was always going to be a problem, somuch so that the Scot even resorted to Spanish, responding, 'Si!' to one reporter as the lines of communication became blurred and the laughs rolled in.
TRAIN OF THOUGHT! My name is not Thomas, Nothing so grand!