[ broo-ding ]
/ ˈbru dɪŋ /


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

1810–20 for def 1; 1640–50 for def 2; brood + -ing2

Related forms

brood·ing·ly, adverbnon·brood·ing, adjective, nounun·brood·ing, adjective

Definition for brooding (2 of 2)

Origin of brood

before 1000; Middle English; Old English brōd; cognate with Dutch broed, German Brut. See breed

Related forms

brood·less, adjectiveun·brood·ed, adjective

Can be confused

brewed 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 brooding

British Dictionary definitions for brooding


/ (bruːd) /


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 Forms

brooding, 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

Medicine definitions for brooding


[ brōōd ]


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