brood

noun
\ˈbrüd \

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

hatch, incubate, set, sit

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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

These measures help conserve the brood stock, ensuring that the lobsters continue to repopulate. New York Times, "Climate Change Brought a Lobster Boom. Now It Could Cause a Bust.," 21 June 2018 Last-borns in most broods exhibit what scientists call low-power strategies, personality traits that can help them survive being the smallest and weakest person in the room. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Dear Royal Baby: Being the Youngest Child Comes With Some Surprising Advantages," 23 Apr. 2018 There weren't enough of them to cover the eggs or the brood cap and everything died. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "It's All About The Bees At Cedar Lane Apiaries," 1 May 2018 Not a single member of the famous fictional brood was nominated for an acting Emmy. refinery29.com, "The 2018 Emmys Love The Lannisters More Than The Starks," 12 July 2018 Jackson's famous brood includes Randy Jackson, Janet Jackson, La Toya Jackson, Jermaine Jackson and more. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Joe Jackson reportedly dead at 89: Celebs react to the loss of the famous patriarch," 27 June 2018 Yesterday, the official White House Blog announced that the Obamas added another furry friend, Sunny, to their brood. Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day, "The Obamas Welcome a New Dog," 20 Aug. 2013 As habitat quality declines, mortality typically increases to hens and broods as nests are destroyed by predators or agricultural activity. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: As habitat dwindles, duck numbers deserve a close watch," 4 July 2018 Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die, Into the valley of Death Rode the six hundred Why would a father ask his ever-expanding brood of what became 11 children to memorize a poem about war and slaughter? Kerry Kennedy, Time, "Kerry Kennedy: What My Father, RFK, Means Today," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Twelve years stranded on an island after being overthrown in a coup that was led by his brother, Prospero, the rightful duke of Milan, has been brooding over his grievances while developing his formidable occult powers. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "'The Tempest' at the Old Globe: Kate Burton casts a benevolent spell as Prospera," 26 June 2018 The new owner had started life as a barber who rose to become a prominent politician under Napoleon, but who later lost Napoleon’s patronage and retired wounded to his house to brood and collect great works of art. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Male Patterned Boldness: Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Sartoria Ode to Villa Carlotta," 9 July 2018 That led to a scene described in The Undefeated, with Cousins brooding on that balcony in the pre-dawn Las Vegas heat. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "When Cousins made his move," 6 July 2018 The same developer behind Geralt’s brooding, sword-and-magic adventures has now emerged with a first-person, shotgun-crazy, branching-narrative, hack-the-world, exploding-limbs dive into the criminal underbelly of near-future Los Angeles. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Cyberpunk 2077 world premiere: 50 minutes of William Gibson-level insanity," 14 June 2018 With his perpetually windswept black hair and brooding green eyes, Timothée Chalamet is the millennial answer to a young Leonardo DiCaprio. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Timothée Chalamet Merchandise Is a Real Thing," 14 May 2018 From this attitude sprung a sound that is brooding yet upbeat. Josh Coe, BostonGlobe.com, "Weakened Friends share a van, a house, and an indie attitude," 22 May 2018 But Harvey resisted the move initially, brooding about the decision and snapping at reporters for asking about his first relief appearance. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Matt Harvey Comes to a Crossroads With the Mets," 2 May 2018 The title track, which Billboard Dance is exclusively premiering, is the kind of silky, brooding tech house creation which Devant has built his name off of. Michael Sundius, Billboard, "Serge Devant Serves Up Tantalizing Tech House Track 'White Groove': Exclusive," 26 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near brood

bronzitite

broo

brooch

brood

brood body

brood bud

brood capsule

Statistics for brood

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for brood

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

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More Definitions for brood

brood

noun

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

: 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 \
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 \

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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