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[broo k]
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  1. a small, natural stream of fresh water.

Origin of brook1

before 900; Middle English; Old English brōc stream; cognate with Dutch broek, German Bruch marsh
Related formsbrook·less, adjectivebrook·like, adjective
Can be confusedbrook creek river stream


[broo k]
verb (used with object)
  1. to bear; suffer; tolerate: I will brook no interference.

Origin of brook2

before 900; Middle English brouken, Old English brūcan; cognate with Dutch bruiken, German brauchen; akin to Gothic brukjan, Latin fruī to enjoy
Related formsbrook·a·ble, adjective


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take, stand, endure, abide, stomach.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for brook


  1. a natural freshwater stream smaller than a river

Word Origin

Old English brōc; related to Old High German bruoh swamp, Dutch broek


  1. (tr; usually used with a negative) to bear; tolerate
Derived Formsbrookable, adjective

Word Origin

Old English brūcan; related to Gothic brūkjan to use, Old High German brūhhan, Latin fruī to enjoy


  1. Peter (Paul Stephen). born 1925, British stage and film director, noted esp for his experimental work in the theatre
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

Word Origin and History for brook


"small stream," Old English broc "flowing stream, torrest," of obscure origin, probably from Proto-Germanic *broka- which yielded words in German (Bruch) and Dutch (broek) that have a sense of "marsh." In Sussex and Kent, it means "water-meadow," and in plural, "low, marshy ground."


"to endure," Old English brucan "use, enjoy, possess; eat; cohabit with," from Proto-Germanic *bruk- "to make use of, enjoy" (cf. Old Saxon brukan, Old Frisian bruka, Old High German bruhhan, German brauchen "to use," Gothic brukjan), from PIE root *bhrug- "to make use of, have enjoyment of" (cf. Latin fructus). Sense of "use" applied to food led to "be able to digest," and by 16c. to "tolerate."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper