preoccupied with depressing, morbid, or painful memories or thoughts: a brooding frame of mind.
cast in subdued light so as to convey a somewhat threatening atmosphere: Dusk fell on the brooding hills.

1810–20 for def 1; 1640–50 for def 2; brood + -ing2

broodingly, adverb
nonbrooding, adjective, noun
unbrooding, adjective Unabridged


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.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English brōd; cognate with Dutch broed, German Brut. See breed

broodless, adjective
unbrooded, adjective

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
brood (bruːd)
1.  a number of young animals, esp birds, produced at one hatching
2.  all the offspring in one family: often used jokingly or contemptuously
3.  a group of a particular kind; breed
4.  (as modifier) kept for breeding: a brood mare
vb (when intr, often foll by on, over or upon)
5.  of a bird
 a.  to sit on or hatch (eggs)
 b.  (tr) to cover (young birds) protectively with the wings
6.  to ponder morbidly or persistently
[Old English brōd; related to Middle High German bruot, Dutch broed; see breed]
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. brod "brood, fetus, hatchling," from P.Gmc. *brod (cf. M.Du. broet, O.H.G. bruot, Ger. Brut "brood"), lit. "that which is hatched by heat," from *bro- "to warm, heat," from PIE *bhre- "burn, heat, incubate," from base *bhreue- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn" (see
brew). The verbal figurative meaning ("to incubate in the mind") is first recorded 1570s, from notion of "nursing" one's anger, resentment, etc. Related: Brooded.

1640s, "hovering, overhanging" (as a mother bird does her nest), from brood; meaning "that dwells moodily" first attested 1818 (in "Frankenstein").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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Encyclopedia Britannica


in zoology, pattern of behaviour of certain egg-laying animals, especially birds, marked by cessation of egg laying and readiness to sit on and incubate eggs. Incubation (q.v.) itself is the process of maintaining uniform heat and humidity of the developing eggs, usually accomplished by one or both parents sitting on the eggs at all times. Many birds develop a brood patch-an area of bare, featherless skin on the underbody-in preparation for incubation and brooding. A network of blood vessels in the skin of the brood patch raises the temperature locally. After the hatch, the parent birds brood their young, keeping them warm by spreading the feathers out, umbrella-like, so the young can maintain contact with the skin of the adult. In domestic fowl the term "broody hen" refers both to a sitting (incubating) bird and, later, to the same hen brooding her chicks

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
His eyes are mystical and brooding.
Now the atmosphere is all dark and brooding.
For a long time I sat brooding.
The novel caught the brooding, anti-establishment mood of the times and became
  an instant bestseller.
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