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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 brooded
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Life was never so brooded on since man learned to think, as in this cycle of tragedies.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • He sank into the chair, and brooded over the embers, and shed tears.

    A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
  • He brooded over it all day, but dared not drop any hint to Henriette.

    Damaged Goods Upton Sinclair
  • This afternoon it brooded motionless, an image of forest reflection.

    Bride of the Mistletoe James Lane Allen
  • I brooded over the matter until the idea of fighting Conway became a part of me.

    The Story of a Bad Boy Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • Now it did not slumber, but it brooded, like the mist that had so lately left the sea.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Like a sullen figure of fate she had brooded during the days of strange changes.

    The Flute of the Gods Marah Ellis Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for brooded


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 brooded



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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brooded 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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