brood

noun
\ ˈbrüd How to pronounce brood (audio) \

Definition of brood

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the young of an animal or a family of young especially : the young (as of a bird or insect) hatched or cared for at one time a hen with her brood of chicks
2 : a group having a common nature or origin the entire brood of chronicle plays— T. S. Eliot
3 : the children of a family takes their brood to church every Sunday

brood

adjective

Definition of brood (Entry 2 of 3)

: kept for breeding (see breed entry 1 sense 3) a brood flock

brood

verb
brooded; brooding; broods

Definition of brood (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to sit on or incubate (eggs)
b : to produce by or as if by incubation : hatch
2 of a bird : to cover (young) with the wings
3 : to think anxiously or gloomily about : ponder I used to brood these things on my walk— Christopher Morley

intransitive verb

1a of a bird : to brood eggs or young
b : to sit quietly and thoughtfully : meditate
2 : hover, loom the old fort brooding above the valley
3a : to dwell gloomily on a subject brooded over his mistake
b : to be in a state of depression sat brooding in her room

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Synonyms for brood

Synonyms: Verb

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The Eggy History of Brood

One of the noun senses of brood that is often encountered today is "the children of a family" (as in "they showed up at the picnic with their whole brood"). This may seem as though it is unrelated to the most commonly used verb sense, which is "to think anxiously or gloomily about; ponder," but the two words come from the same source, the Old English brōd. The noun form of brood came first, and the verb, when it appeared in our language, was used to refer to the action of chickens sitting on their eggs. Eventually the verb began to be used in a figurative manner, and took on the "worriedly pondering" sense it has today.

Examples of brood in a Sentence

Noun a hen and her brood of chicks Mrs. Smith took her brood to church every Sunday. Verb He brooded over his mistake. After the argument, she sat in her bedroom, brooding.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 2021, the largest brood of cicadas in the United States, appropriately named Brood X, will awake from a 17-year sleep and burrow out of the cold earth, ushering in a new season of baroque bug horrors. Aj Willingham, CNN, "2020 was the year of scary bugs, and 2021 will be even worse," 30 Dec. 2020 Most of the fish are 8-12 inches, although 16- to 22-inch brood fish may get tossed into the mix on occasion. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Cooler Texas temperatures arrive in the nick of time for trout stocking," 18 Dec. 2020 This slaughter paves the way for the hornets to gather the real target of the attack, the brood of larvae developing in the hive. The Economist, "Bees defend their hives against hornets with animal dung," 12 Dec. 2020 Behind him, the Amis brood fruitfully multiplies (five children, two grandchildren), but ahead lies a dark wood with ever fewer friends and elders to light the way through. Tom Bissell, New York Times, "In Fiction, Martin Amis Summons His Literary Friends and Role Models," 26 Oct. 2020 The chick eventually develops feathers and is able to survive outside his parents’ brood pouches. Bridget E. Hamilton, National Geographic, "Amazing animal dads," 16 June 2020 Since mothers pass their gut microbiomes on to their babies when they are born, its disappearance in an adult can lead to a brood of bifidobacterium-less kids. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "They don’t make baby poop like they did in 1926, that’s for sure. Here’s why scientists care.," 16 Mar. 2018 Ben became an osteopath and established a practice on Long Island, where Sofia had a habit of packing a picnic and waking her brood early to get to Jones Beach by 8 a.m., before the crowds arrived. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, "Covid’s U.S. toll: Nearly 300,000 dead and a stalemate between fatalism and hope," 12 Dec. 2020 Having despoiled her brood of wicked sons, Blanche threatens to ruin the next generation. Armond White, National Review, "Let Him Go: A Morally Superior Neo-Western," 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Though still being tabulated, this summer’s study suggests brood survival was favorable, at least in the northeast, Roy said. Star Tribune, "There are positives as grouse season opens, but issues, too," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The passengers on the Diamond Princess were mostly asleep, and Arma, not long awake himself, brooded over the possibilities. Lauren Smiley, Wired, "27 Days in Tokyo Bay: What Happened on the Diamond Princess," 30 Apr. 2020 There is fighting, there are hijinks, there are lots of tall, brooding Central Asians—but beyond Sukhov, there is far too little character development. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "I was bored, so I watched the movie that astronauts must view before launch," 8 Apr. 2020 Almost all presidents brood in private about the insults aimed at them. Edwin L. Battistella, Time, "How U.S. Presidents Have Tried to Use Legal Action to Stop People From Insulting Them," 1 Apr. 2020 Weaks’s brooding Cory, on the other hand, is a complete portrait of boyhood trying to break free of oppressive parental restraint. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Revealing the holes in August Wilson’s ‘Fences’," 3 Oct. 2019 When emoting and brooding are needed, Daniel Craig portrays James Bond. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "James Bond Gets a Stunt Double in No Time to Die—So Does Aston Martin's DB5," 20 Feb. 2020 On Saturday afternoon, the lines of fans to meet those prices stretched backward through the grim, concrete conventional hall, the fans waiting quietly, dressed as Captain Marvels and Spider-Men and brooding beneath faux-fur as cosplay Jon Snows. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "$200 for Chris Hemsworth’s autograph? Fans from around the country line up at Ace Comic Con in Rosemont to pay that and more," 13 Oct. 2019 The pair forge an uneasy alliance, with Naif’s understated, brooding acting playing off of Biton’s blustery bravado. Nora Mcgreevy, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Tel Aviv on Fire,’ soap opera meets Middle Eastern politics," 15 Aug. 2019 The 2019 brood survey information indicated that annual productivity was poor, and the 2018 productivity was only a bit better. Brian Lovett, Outdoor Life, "The 2020 Spring Turkey Hunting State-by-State Forecast," 3 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'brood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of brood

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for brood

Noun

Middle English, from Old English brōd; akin to Middle High German bruot brood and perhaps to Old English beorma yeast — more at barm

Adjective

Middle English brod- (in compounds), attributive use of brod, brood brood entry 1

Verb

Middle English broden, verbal derivative of brod, brood brood entry 1

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Time Traveler for brood

Time Traveler

The first known use of brood was before the 12th century

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Statistics for brood

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brood. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for brood

brood

noun
How to pronounce brood (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brood

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of young birds (such as chickens) that were all born at the same time
informal : the children in someone's family

brood

verb

English Language Learners Definition of brood (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think a lot about something in an unhappy way

brood

verb
\ ˈbrüd How to pronounce brood (audio) \
brooded; brooding

Kids Definition of brood

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to sit on eggs to hatch them
2 : to cover (young) with the wings for warmth and protection a hen brooding her chicks
3 : to think long and anxiously about something She brooded over her mistake.

brood

noun

Kids Definition of brood (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the young of birds hatched at the same time a brood of chicks
2 : a group of young children or animals having the same mother

brood

noun
\ ˈbrüd How to pronounce brood (audio) \

Medical Definition of brood

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the young of an animal or a family of young especially : the young (as of a bird or insect) hatched or cared for at one time

Medical Definition of brood (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : to sit on or incubate (eggs)
b : to produce by or as if by incubation
2 : to think anxiously or gloomily about

intransitive verb

1 of a bird : to brood eggs or young
2a : to dwell gloomily on a subject
b : to be in a state of depression

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Comments on brood

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