- 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.
Origin of brooding
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for brood on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for brooding
Carell is good in a brooding, atmospheric movie but Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo are better.Channing Tatum Is the Real Star of ‘Foxcatcher'
October 23, 2014
In the Jockey ad, half of Jim Palmer's princely, brooding face is fully lighted, the other half is masked in shadow.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
I had left a party early, brooding about why I felt so strongly about something that, ostensibly, had “nothing to do with me.”Men Without a Country: Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, My Father and Me
August 12, 2014
Hollywood is gripped by an obsession so all-consuming that no blockbuster is safe from its brooding influence.The Ghastly ‘Maleficent’ and Why It’s Time For Hollywood to Kill the Dark Reboot
May 31, 2014
Nine times out of ten, it will conjure up an image of a brooding, sweaty, long-haired hunk.Taylor Kitsch on ‘The Normal Heart,’ Homophobic Right-Wingers, and Gays in the Military
May 23, 2014
Christopher stood silent, as if brooding on what he had seen.Weighed and Wanting
The birds, silent all in the brooding of night, rise ghostly to right and left.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
He sat with his head bent and his elbow on his knee; brooding, brooding, brooding.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
So she prepared for the possible future, not by brooding on it, but by doing the work of the present.Heather and Snow
Kay said nothing, but a brooding anger began to fill his heart.
- 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)
- to sit on or hatch (eggs)
- (tr)to cover (young birds) protectively with the wings
- (when intr , often foll by on, over or upon) to ponder morbidly or persistently
Word Origin and History for brooding
1640s, "hovering, overhanging" (as a mother bird does her nest), from present participle of brood (v.); meaning "that dwells moodily" first attested 1818 (in "Frankenstein").
"action of incubating," c.1400, verbal noun from brood (v.). Figuratively (of weather, etc.) from 1805; of mental fixations by 1873. Related: Broodingly.
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.)).