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 The episode also saw the arrival of Psalm, whom Kardashian hinted would be the last of her growing brood (which includes older siblings North, Saint and Chicago). Glenn Rowley, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Renewed Their Vows on 'KUWTK,' But They're 'Done' Having Kids: Watch," 21 Oct. 2019 With such a large brood, the Symacek’s have routine down to a science in keeping their daily lives on a tight schedule relative to the needs of their nine children. Evan Dudley, al, "Reunion: Former receiver and UAB grad assistant reunites with 2017 honoree," 19 Oct. 2019 At its epicenter are the Roys, a family who own a media empire and are loosely inspired by the prolific Murdoch brood, who have dominated the media and entertainment space for decades. Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Succession's Roy Family Compares to the Murdochs," 9 Sep. 2019 Hussein and Ljutvie are a couple with a huge brood of children, who simply show up one day on the mountain to start a farm. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Honeyland Is a Stinging Allegory for Man-Made Disaster," 9 Aug. 2019 After a dimwitted argument with a colorful local character named Skryd (about whom this reader hopes to read more, perhaps in a future novel), Will tailspins from a deep brood into a prickly depression. Bruce Barcott, New York Times, "Even in Hemingway’s Woods, Sometimes a Man Needs to Cry," 2 Aug. 2019 Two belonged to the species Megachile jenseni Friese; the nests’ brood cells, where the eggs are laid, were made from petals and mud. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Found: A Bees’ Nest Built Entirely of Plastic Waste," 7 June 2019 Back to basics: The brood of Democrats running for president came out in favor of the GM workers. cleveland.com, "UAW, GM resume talks amid nationwide auto worker strike: The Flyover," 17 Sep. 2019 Even Laura Dern makes a few quick, perfect appearances as the mother of this brood, Marmee. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "The First 'Little Women' Trailer Is All About Meryl Streep and Timothée Chalamet's Hair," 13 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nixon was a pessimist who liked to brood alone with a bottle of whisky, whereas Mr Johnson is a gregarious optimist. The Economist, "Boris Johnson: Britain’s Richard Nixon," 3 Oct. 2019 The Hudson Valley was — is — such a big, brooding, hunkering, muscular landscape. Russell Shorto, New York Times, "In the Hudson Valley, a Drive Back in Time," 17 June 2019 Her tendency to brood, to ask too many questions, to stay with the same thoughts all day long, fuels my writing. Kyoko Mori, Longreads, "One Man’s Poison," 3 Sep. 2019 The poster features Stewart, 78, as the brooding captain standing atop a hill, overlooking his vineyard. Ashley Boucher, PEOPLE.com, "Patrick Stewart Gets a Dog in New Star Trek: Picard Poster Released Ahead of Comic-Con Panel," 10 July 2019 Billy, meanwhile, spends much of the season brooding around town and antagonizing his younger stepsister and his rival, Steve. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "Everything you need to remember about Stranger Things before watching season 3," 28 June 2019 Author Andrea Camilleri, creator of the best-selling Commissario Montalbano series about a likable, though oft-brooding small-town Sicilian police chief who mixes humanity with pragmatism to solve crimes, died in a Rome hospital Wednesday. Washington Post, "Camilleri, author of Montalbano detective series, dies at 93," 18 July 2019 Some brood their eggs in a pouch, some in their mouths, some tuck them behind their pectoral fins—that’s called armpit brooding. Jennifer Hayes, National Geographic, "Coral reefs depend on lots of fish the size of jellybeans," 23 May 2019 The Baldwin brood already includes the couple’s daughter Carmen Gabriela, 5½, as well as sons Romeo Alejandro David, 1, Leonardo Ángel Charles, 2½, and Rafael Thomas, 4 this month, plus Alec’s daughter Ireland, 23. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, "Hilaria Baldwin Isn't Done Having Kids: 'They're My Favorite Things in the World So Why Not?'," 11 June 2019

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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Statistics for brood

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on brood

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brood

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brood

Spanish Central: Translation of brood

Nglish: Translation of brood for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brood for Arabic Speakers

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