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

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 Meanwhile, his murderous hobby has become a family activity for his growing brood. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Researchers found that worker bees who care for the brood get less sleep than their sisters, because bee babies produce chemicals that keep their caretakers awake. Karen Hopkin, Scientific American, 21 Dec. 2020 Viewed as a hometown hero after handling the cattle thieves, the youngest of the Dutton brood is not only recognized for his leadership, but a serious contender for governor by the time the third season comes to a close. Skyler Caruso, PEOPLE.com, 2 Nov. 2021 The new brood is not yet ready for public viewing, but the new hatchlings have helped to make up for some past losses, said Pelke. Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2021 Nineties prime time audiences couldn’t get enough of 3rd Rock From the Sun’s Solomons, an awkward brood of E.T. Earth tourists trapped in human bodies. Justin Caffier, Vulture, 15 Nov. 2021 Chalamet is fine, although the role doesn’t ask more of him than to brood mournfully and look stupidly good-looking in a black trench coat get-up. Scott Mendelson, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Luckily, Louisville will have a bye week to brood about it. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 10 Oct. 2021 In the past, Long Island has been the easternmost place that can lay claim to this eminent brood. New York Times, 19 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The most limiting factor for these stockings is acquiring brood stock. Matt Wyatt, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Apr. 2021 The department’s goal within the next few years is to create an army of brood fish from ShareLunker offspring. Dallas News, 10 Apr. 2021 Justin Hughes, upland gamebird habitat specialist for Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks in Region 7, said turkeys enjoyed good nesting and brood conditions across the region during 2020. Brian Lovett, Outdoor Life, 8 Jan. 2021 Though still being tabulated, this summer’s study suggests brood survival was favorable, at least in the northeast, Roy said. Star Tribune, 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The male seahorses ‘get pregnant’ and brood the babies in their pouch. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021 Keaton’s Wayne, who manages to brood with a sense of humor, communicates with every love language in this film. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Feb. 2021 The passengers on the Diamond Princess were mostly asleep, and Arma, not long awake himself, brooded over the possibilities. Lauren Smiley, Wired, 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, 8 Apr. 2020 Almost all presidents brood in private about the insults aimed at them. Edwin L. Battistella, Time, 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, 3 Oct. 2019 When emoting and brooding are needed, Daniel Craig portrays James Bond. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, 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, 13 Oct. 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

Learn More About brood

Time Traveler for brood

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near brood

brooch

brood

brood body

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Statistics for brood

Last Updated

23 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Brood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brood. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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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 3 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

brood

transitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on brood

Nglish: Translation of brood for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brood for Arabic Speakers

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