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90s Slang You Should Know


[breyn-stawrm] /ˈbreɪnˌstɔrm/
  1. a sudden impulse, idea, etc.
  2. a fit of mental confusion or excitement.
of or relating to brainstorming.
verb (used without object)
to conduct or practice brainstorming.
verb (used with object)
to subject (a problem) to brainstorming.
Origin of brainstorm
1890-95; brain + storm; originally a severe mental disturbance
Related forms
brainstormer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for brainstorm
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I fired up my Xbox and opened a word-processor and started to brainstorm ideas for my papers.

    Little Brother Cory Doctorow
  • "And then my erstwhile associate Jimenez had a brainstorm," said Terry ruefully.

    Creatures of the Abyss Murray Leinster
  • It may seem rude to say so, but Orangeism consists mainly of a settled hallucination and an annual brainstorm.

  • Dont worry, said Harvey, Flo probably had a brainstorm and called them already.

    Beginners Luck Emily Hahn
  • It had been a brainstorm selecting only girls—and pretty young things, at that—for the Interstellar Symphony.

    World Beyond Pluto C. H. Thames
British Dictionary definitions for brainstorm


a severe outburst of excitement, often as the result of a transitory disturbance of cerebral activity
(Brit, informal) a sudden mental aberration
(informal) another word for brainwave
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 brainstorm

"brilliant idea, mental excitement, fit of mental application," 1849, from brain (n.) + figurative use of storm (n.). As a verb, recorded from 1920s. Related: Brainstormed; brainstorming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for brainstorm



A sudden idea, esp one that is apt and useful; a happy insight •Brainstorm was a medical term for ''mental explosion'' by the 1890s (1920s+)


To examine and work on a problem by having a group sit around and utter spontaneously whatever relevant thoughts they have: We'll brainstorm the drop in enrollment (1920s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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