1 of 2


brain·​storm ˈbrān-ˌstȯrm How to pronounce brainstorm (audio)
brainstormed; brainstorming; brainstorms

transitive + intransitive

: to try to solve a problem or come up with new ideas by having a discussion that includes all members of a group : to discuss a problem or issue and suggest solutions and ideas
Students from Paris, Milan, Tokyo, and New York were invited to the Cambridge campus to brainstorm with MIT students on the marriage of couture and computer.Elizabeth Thrasher
Engineers are only beginning to brainstorm possible reasons that Polar Lander might have kept silent.Sharon Begley
see also brainstorming
brainstormer noun
plural brainstormers
In fact, the speakers joined the attendees as collaborative brainstormers in an exercise to find solutions to some truly global problems … Amy Schrier


2 of 2


plural brainstorms
: a sudden bright idea
Another French immigrant to the Quaker City, Eugene Roussel, had a brainstorm that raised the curtain on a new era in the history of carbonated beverages.David M. Schwartz
: the act of brainstorming : a group discussion for the purpose of solving a problem or coming up with new ideas
Once the brainstorms are done, however, everyone needs to get their individual pieces of the creative puzzle done as effectively and efficiently as possible.Denise Blasevick
: a harebrained idea
The layout looks as though it is the brainstorm of the art director of a struggling new advertising agency after a three-martini lunch.Sloan Wilson
British, informal : a temporary state of confusion : a period of unclear thinking
… Smith's rise was interrupted by a brainstorm, a failure of logic, a loss of bearings that will now stay with him for the rest of his life.Paul Hayward
dated : a violent transient fit of insanity

Examples of brainstorm in a Sentence

Noun Her latest brainstorm is to convert the garage into an apartment.
Recent Examples on the Web
During their daily walk a few years ago, a Burbank couple brainstormed baby names, settling on one option for a boy and another for a girl. Marisa Gerber, Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2024 With consumer behavior constantly changing, brainstorming new strategies to engage with the market is a good approach to get your employees’ creative juices flowing. Pavel Stepanov, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Get your family together to brainstorm where your next family vacation should be and start to plan. Ashlyn Messier, Fox News, 18 Jan. 2024 Engaging young people While the community dialogue around policing led by Trinity City Arts has been productive, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 encouraged Mr. Schwarzman to engage a younger audience that might brainstorm new solutions to police-community divides. Millie Brigaud, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Dec. 2023 In our study, 100% of participants found AI helpful for brainstorming. Sabrina Habib, The Conversation, 1 Feb. 2024 Martin Calvo, the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission chairperson, said the commission will brainstorm ways to activate Harborside and make recommendations to the City Council. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Jan. 2024 Or being stuck in endless, regimented team meetings that focus solely on maintaining the status quo rather than brainstorming innovative solutions? Mark Murphy, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 At the end of each week, a weekly review section gives you space for achievements or misses, sales, and subscribers, plus a brainstorming space for the following week. Medea Giordano, WIRED, 3 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brainstorm.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1945, in the meaning defined above


circa 1861, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of brainstorm was circa 1861

Dictionary Entries Near brainstorm

Cite this Entry

“Brainstorm.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


brain·​storm ˈbrān-ˌstȯ(ə)rm How to pronounce brainstorm (audio)
: a sudden inspiration or idea

More from Merriam-Webster on brainstorm

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!