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
References in classic literature ?
All the thoughts and feelings he had passed through fell into three separate trains of thought.
He added: "My view is there are two trains of thought.
Trains of thought don't tend to be lost forever - they usually come chugging back after a while, often on their way to a different destination.
Presenting a book filled with ideas, displayed with full color photos and text explaining the various styles, Richard Powers and Phyllis Richardson provide no shortage of inspiration from the exterior and how it's built, to the many trains of thought for the interior.
Following trains of thought stimulated by the isolated images drawn from Lysis and Charmides, I realized that the spectators gathered in the Temenos were joined in bonds of friendship abundantly manifested in various ways among the foreign pilgrims.
There are other stimulating and unconventional trains of thought, such as the analogy with the development of the title page in early printing, where triumphal arches often invite the reader to process into the book.
Readers of the non-piscatorial persuasion may question whether he pulls this off (or that anyone could), but he does develop some interesting trains of thought.
They definitely have two different trains of thought, but they keep each other in balance.
Gazzaniga suspects that this left-brain system, which he dubbed the "interpreter" nearly 20 years ago, also allows conscious feelings to arise in response to largely automatic trains of thought that run through mental life.
There are a few trains of thought regarding Tyrur Ted's recent running.
The developments at the end, the opening up onto new trains of thought, leaves one feeling deprived of all the potential growth.
Still, researchers remain puzzled as to the precise alterations that bring about the disorder's debilitating symptoms, such as apathy, social withdrawal, incoherent trains of thought, and hallucinations.
Social withdrawal, apathy, and incoherent trains of thought also feature prominently in this condition.
Juxtapositions of discordant trains of thought, rambling sentences, fragmented references, and multilayered sections that look like printer's errors perfectly mirror the states of mind of the women who pen these missives.
I greet often clumsy advances responsively, indulge freakish trains of thought with the poker face of a hardened pro, shamelessly encourage the boring, and treat half-baked gibberish as if it were a cogent point, saving the client's face by making him seem sentient and desirable before the group.