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[brood] /brud/
a number of young produced or hatched at one time; a family of offspring or young.
a breed, species, group, or kind:
The museum exhibited a brood of monumental sculptures.
verb (used with object)
to sit upon (eggs) to hatch, as a bird; incubate.
(of a bird) to warm, protect, or cover (young) with the wings or body.
to think or worry persistently or moodily about; ponder:
He brooded the problem.
verb (used without object)
to sit upon eggs to be hatched, as a bird.
to dwell on a subject or to meditate with morbid persistence (usually followed by over or on).
kept for breeding:
a brood hen.
Verb phrases
brood above/over, to cover, loom, or seem to fill the atmosphere or scene:
The haunted house on the hill brooded above the village.
Origin of brood
before 1000; Middle English; Old English brōd; cognate with Dutch broed, German Brut. See breed
Related forms
broodless, adjective
unbrooded, adjective
Can be confused
brewed, brood (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Brood, litter refer to young creatures. Brood is especially applied to the young of fowls and birds hatched from eggs at one time and raised under their mother's care: a brood of young turkeys. Litter is applied to a group of young animals brought forth at a birth: a litter of kittens or pups. 2. line, stock, strain. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for brood over
Historical Examples
  • Tom went directly to the smoking-room where he sat down to brood over his misery.

    Polly's Business Venture Lillian Elizabeth Roy
  • The heavy scent of the roses seemed to brood over everything.

  • But it makes me brood over it till the red act is lost in red brooding.

    I, Mary MacLane Mary MacLane
  • It is well to be prepared for it, but it is ill to brood over a fancied future of evil.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • An atmosphere of peace, which he feared to disturb, seemed to brood over the place.

    The Village of Youth Bessie Hatton
  • Yet, think of it, brood over it as I would, there was no help for it.

    The Romance of Golden Star ... George Chetwynd Griffith
  • She was obliged to rouse herself; she could not brood over her sorrows to the exclusion of everything else.

    The Shadow of a Sin Bertha M. Clay
  • She was silent, and Carlo had to brood over something as well.

    Vittoria, Complete George Meredith
  • She remained upheld in spirit, while yet she seemed to brood over an unsolvable problem.

  • Jack was given no more leisure to brood over his own misfortunes.

    Blackbeard: Buccaneer Ralph D. Paine
British Dictionary definitions for brood over


a number of young animals, esp birds, produced at one hatching
all the offspring in one family: often used jokingly or contemptuously
a group of a particular kind; breed
(as modifier) kept for breeding: a brood mare
(of a bird)
  1. to sit on or hatch (eggs)
  2. (transitive) to cover (young birds) protectively with the wings
when intr, often foll by on, over or upon. to ponder morbidly or persistently
Derived Forms
brooding, noun, adjective
broodingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English brōd; related to Middle High German bruot, Dutch broed; see breed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for brood over



Old English brod "brood, fetus, hatchling," from Proto-Germanic *brod (cf. Middle Dutch broet, Old High German bruot, German Brut "brood"), literally "that which is hatched by heat," from *bro- "to warm, heat," from PIE *bhre- "burn, heat, incubate," from root *bhreue- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn" (see brew (v.)).


"sit on eggs, hatch," mid-15c., from brood (n.). The figurative meaning ("to incubate in the mind") is first recorded 1570s, from notion of "nursing" one's anger, resentment, etc. Related: Brooded; brooding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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brood over in Medicine

brood (brōōd)
See litter.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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