1 of 2


: creek sense 1
a babbling brook


2 of 2


brooked; brooking; brooks

transitive verb

: to stand for : tolerate
he would brook no interference with his plans

Examples of brook in a Sentence

Noun there are tiny fish and frogs in that brook Verb I will not brook insults from my own employees.
Recent Examples on the Web
Dominique Janee: This small parcel sitting on the fertile floodplain along a brook, was perfect for a medicinal garden. Dominique Janee, Scientific American, 2 Nov. 2023 She was buried in Fairview Cemetery, just across the brook from their house in Hyde Park. Dominique Janee, Scientific American, 2 Nov. 2023 This could include soothing sounds like cat purring, a crackling fireplace, rain, gentle waves, a babbling brook, whales, or a tumble dryer. Rachael Hogg, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Oct. 2023 Photography from Alaska, French Polynesia and Greenland is juxtaposed with archival images of industry, political movements and even scenes of life and death, with the sounds of burbling brooks and birdsong heard amid spoken word and occasional song (from Billie Holiday). Roger Catlin, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023 Depending on the information source, green noise is variously described as being like background noises in nature, the sound of rhythmic ocean waves or a babbling brook. Stacey Colino, Washington Post, 9 Oct. 2023 The Amazon, that verdant cathedral of life, beseeches us not only to listen with our ears but with our souls, allowing: • Stress Reduction: The tranquil sounds of the forest, from babbling brooks to rustling leaves, have been proven to lower stress levels and reduce anxiety. Gen Cleary, Rolling Stone, 11 Oct. 2023 Fashionable ideologies that brook no good-faith dissent have surged into every corner of life. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 8 Oct. 2023 But after Leominster was inundated by about 10 inches of rain that turned scenic brooks into raging rivers, sending surging floodwater into homes and businesses, and forcing many to seek out emergency shelters, DeCicco thinks the historic snowstorm was a little bit easier to handle. Amanda Kaufman,, 12 Sep. 2023
The colony’s superintendent at the time was not a man to brook any such insubordination. Adam Goodheart, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 In this way, the book’s plot recalls classic tropes of the Cold War: a cruel, power-hungry communist party-state, unwilling to brook any popular challenge to its authority, oppresses its people and provokes heroic resistance. Susan Greenhalgh and Xiying Wang, Foreign Affairs, 11 June 2019 Like parts of the West Bank, Gaza enjoys a degree of autonomy, and since the brief Palestinian civil war of 2007, the territory has been administered internally by the Islamist organization Hamas, which brooks little dissent. Michael Barnett, Foreign Affairs, 14 Apr. 2023 But in the end, the Legend would simply brook no challenge. Kevin Smith, Car and Driver, 24 June 2023 Any of the folks that have brooked him or collaborated with him, they’re morally compromised. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 20 Apr. 2023 Stay calm, stay cool, and brook no argument. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 5 June 2021 That has meant shoring up ties with leaders like Mr. Kagame, a prickly authoritarian whose achievements in rebuilding Rwanda after the genocide have been overshadowed by a repressive rule that brooks no dissent — a trend that Mr. Rusesabagina’s case has come to symbolize. Abdi Latif Dahir, New York Times, 3 Apr. 2023 Kristol would not brook being lectured to by thinkers feigning a concern for conservatism and shedding crocodile tears over its fall from a dignified version limited to quoting maxims from Edmund Burke. The Intersection, Discover Magazine, 18 June 2011 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brook.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, from Old English brōc; akin to Old High German bruoh marshy ground


Middle English brouken, broken "to have the benefit of, enjoy, employ, use, eat or drink, stomach, tolerate," going back to Old English brūcan "to enjoy the use of, use, employ, partake (of food or drink), possess," going back to Germanic *brūkan-/*brūkjan- (whence also Old Frisian brūka "to make use of, employ," Old Saxon brūkan "to enjoy the use of," Middle Dutch brūken "to use, enjoy," Old High German brūchan "to enjoy the use of," Gothic brūhjan "to use"), going back to dialectal Indo-European *bhruHg- "enjoy, use" whence also Latin fruor, fruī "to enjoy the produce or proceeds of, derive advantage from, be blessed with, derive pleasure from" (see fruit entry 1)

Note: The Indo-European etymon *bhruHg- is attested only in Germanic and Italic, and within Germanic not in the northern branch (Danish bruge "to use," Swedish bruka, etc., are loans from Low German). In Old English brūcan is a Class II strong verb (preterit breac, brucon, participle brocen), and in Old Saxon brūkan, attested only in the infinitive, is probably also strong. In Middle English and the other Germanic languages, however, it is a weak verb, with only traces of possible strong forms. The phonetic outcome displayed by Modern English brook, with [u], is peculiar and cannot directly continue Old English ū. E.J. Dobson hypothesizes that a new Middle English infinitive with ŭ was formed on the analogy of the weak past tense and past participle early enough to undergo open-syllable lengthening—hence brŭken > brọ̄ken > brook, with [u:] later shortened to [u] (see English Pronunciation, 1500-1700, 2. edition, Oxford, 1968, p. 513). Present-day English continues only a small portion of the original meaning of the verb.

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brook was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near brook

Cite this Entry

“Brook.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: tolerate sense 1
brooks no interference


2 of 2 noun
: a small stream


Old English brūcan "to use, enjoy"


Old English brōc "brook, creek"

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