The idiom food for thought has been in use since the 1800s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the expression food for thought, where it comes from and some examples of its use in sentences.
Food for thought means something that is worth thinking about, something worth mulling over, something that should be pondered in order to obtain the full understanding of the idea. An idea that is food for thought is profound and should be examined thoroughly. The idea is of digesting the idea, rather than plowing through it quickly. This metaphor of digesting knowledge is also found in the sentiment of chewing something over, meaning to ponder something in order to obtain the full understanding of the idea or to think something through, thoroughly.
The doubts and the praise showered upon Keerthy gave me some food for thought — about how we critique our artistes and the pattern in the careers of our heroines. (The Indian Express)
“When I was a kid, I really loved the movies that gave me some food for thought and made me think about life and my place in the world after they were over,” he says. (The Los Angeles Times)
After listening to her for more than an hour, I realized that not only was I buzzed from the much-needed cocktails, but she gave me some food for thought: We need to stop abbreviating life, dump the clichés and expressions that have been abused ad nauseam. (The Huffington Post)
Her suggestions gave me some food for thought, especially after re-watching the video made by the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) on addressing the need for better English proficiency. (The Star)