brood·​ing ˈbrü-diŋ How to pronounce brooding (audio)
: moodily or sullenly thoughtful or serious
a brooding genius
a brooding, embittered man
: darkly somber
a brooding landscape
a quiet, brooding atmosphere
brooding, violent images reminiscent of … film noir …Tracy Hopkins
broodingly adverb
a broodingly handsome actor
Gardner gazes broodingly at the camera … Kathleen Murphy

Examples of brooding in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her first feature, The Virgin Suicides, announced a new regime: brooding, stylish, and playful; independent, though not above the influence of familial interests. Andrew Marzoni, The New Republic, 3 Nov. 2023 Wednesday Addams isn’t an obvious source of fashion inspiration, but the gothic style of the brooding and maudlin problem child has become increasingly popular over the past year, helped by Jenna Ortega’s breakthrough role in Tim Burton’s most recent adaptation. Anna Tingley, Variety, 18 Sep. 2023 With a shorter brooding period, the eggs are exposed to potential predators like snails and shrimp for far less time, increasing the hatchlings’ chances of survival. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Aug. 2023 The lamp was sullen, a candlestick brooding and rude with its old wax crumbling at its edges, not flame, not a promise of flame. Ada Limón, The New Yorker, 4 Sep. 2023 Anne Souder’s embodiment of the Chorus was helpless to stave off the detestable fate of Xin Ying’s brooding, brutal and human Medea. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 25 Aug. 2023 The shorter brooding time probably reduces the embryo’s risk to predators skulking around to eat the eggs, such as shrimp. Kasha Patel, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Aug. 2023 Jordan Catalano represents a dusty heartthrob of television’s past — brooding, unpredictable, and largely unexpressive. Thea Glassman, Rolling Stone, 27 June 2023 The darker, more brooding Romantic Barn is called that because the couple celebrated their first wedding anniversary there with a candlelit dinner. Anita Sarsidi, ELLE Decor, 1 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brooding.' 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

1818, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of brooding was in 1818

Dictionary Entries Near brooding

Cite this Entry

“Brooding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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