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 survivors make the next brood, says University of Maryland entomologist Michael Raupp. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, "EXPLAINER: What are cicadas and why do they bug some people?," 7 May 2021 Some have human children in addition to their interspecies brood; others don’t. Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "The Unshakeable Interspecies Bond of Pet Moms," 6 May 2021 With great power comes great responsibility, and nobody knows that better Cedella Marley, the eldest of late reggae icon Bob Marley and wife Rita's musical brood. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Cedella Marley Says Family's New SiriusXM Channels Are in the Blood: 'AI Is Good, But I and I Is Even Better'," 20 Apr. 2021 Almost every year somewhere in the country, a periodical brood will emerge. Brian Whipkey, baltimoresun.com, "Cicadas expected to be fish ‘filet mignon’ in southeastern Pennsylvania next month," 17 Apr. 2021 Then next brood to emerge after this year’s Brood X emergence is Brood XIII, which will swarm northern Illinois in 2024. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "'Otherworldly': For the first time in 17 years, millions of cicadas will be swarming Indiana," 12 Apr. 2021 Members of the colony’s working caste, which nurse the brood, hunt for food, and defend the nest, die within 7 months, even when well-fed and protected in the lab. Yao-hua Law, Science | AAAS, "What can ants, bees, and other social insects teach us about aging?," 25 Mar. 2021 Gunda takes her brood out into the fields, suckles them, nudges the stragglers. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "In ‘Gunda,’ farm animals’ lives glow with poignant dignity," 15 Apr. 2021 Thompson advised them to wait before adding to their brood. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Nips and poops: Biden dogs cause 'Major' headaches," 1 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The most limiting factor for these stockings is acquiring brood stock. Matt Wyatt, San Antonio Express-News, "'Super stocking' program seeks to boost eastern turkey ranks in East Texas," 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, "McKinney angler reels in lifetime catch, boats biggest fish at Mega Bass," 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, "Your State-by-State Spring 2021 Turkey Forecast," 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, "There are positives as grouse season opens, but issues, too," 17 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Keaton’s Wayne, who manages to brood with a sense of humor, communicates with every love language in this film. BostonGlobe.com, "Celebrate romance with these movies," 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, "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

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 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Brood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brood. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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
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

More from Merriam-Webster on brood

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for brood

Nglish: Translation of brood for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of brood for Arabic Speakers

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