• synonyms


See more synonyms for brood on Thesaurus.com
  1. a number of young produced or hatched at one time; a family of offspring or young.
  2. a breed, species, group, or kind: The museum exhibited a brood of monumental sculptures.
Show More
verb (used with object)
  1. to sit upon (eggs) to hatch, as a bird; incubate.
  2. (of a bird) to warm, protect, or cover (young) with the wings or body.
  3. to think or worry persistently or moodily about; ponder: He brooded the problem.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to sit upon eggs to be hatched, as a bird.
  2. to dwell on a subject or to meditate with morbid persistence (usually followed by over or on).
Show More
  1. kept for breeding: a brood hen.
Show More
Verb Phrases
  1. brood above/over, to cover, loom, or seem to fill the atmosphere or scene: The haunted house on the hill brooded above the village.
Show More

Origin of brood

before 1000; Middle English; Old English brōd; cognate with Dutch broed, German Brut. See breed
Related formsbrood·less, adjectiveun·brood·ed, adjective
Can be confusedbrewed brood


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com

Synonym study

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

offspring, daydream, grieve, meditate, sulk, mope, ruminate, fret, progeny, family, clutch, breed, young, litter, seed, hatch, posterity, flock, issue, descendants

Examples from the Web for brood

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for brood


  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 breedinga brood mare
Show More
  1. (of a bird)
    1. to sit on or hatch (eggs)
    2. (tr)to cover (young birds) protectively with the wings
  2. (when intr , often foll by on, over or upon) to ponder morbidly or persistently
Show More
Derived Formsbrooding, noun, adjectivebroodingly, 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

Word Origin and History for brood


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.)).

Show More


"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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

brood in Medicine


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