a device or structure for the rearing of young chickens or other birds.
a person or animal that broods.

Origin of brooder

First recorded in 1590–1600; brood + -er1




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 formsbrood·less, adjectiveun·brood·ed, adjective
Can be confusedbrewed brood

Synonyms for brood

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brooder

Historical Examples of brooder

  • But woman as a human incubator and brooder is an 170 obsolete machine.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • We are all alike and yet all different; each of us is a wanderer, a brooder, a seeker.

    The New Society

    Walther Rathenau

  • "I opine we've got a brooder with us in the carriage behind," said Badger, in a low tone.

    Frank Merriwell's Son

    Burt L. Standish

  • I can get a first-rate one for forty dollars, and I can buy one 'brooder.'

  • For convenience this house will be spoken of as brooder house No. 1.

    Ducks and Geese

    Harry M. Lamon

British Dictionary definitions for brooder



an enclosure or other structure, usually heated, used for rearing young chickens or other fowl
a person or thing that broods



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 breedinga brood mare


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

Word Origin for brood

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 brooder



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

brooder in Medicine




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