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 formsbrood·ing·ly, adverbnon·brood·ing, adjective, nounun·brood·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for broodingly

Historical Examples of broodingly

  • And yet, Herr Koulas reasoned, broodingly, that there must be one.

    The Secret Witness

    George Gibbs

  • "Yet you know very well, at this moment, that I must leave you," she said broodingly.

    The Eddy

    Clarence L. Cullen

  • The man—it was impossible to tell if he were old or young—looked at them broodingly.

    The Metal Moon

    Everett C. Smith

  • I took up the mirror again and broodingly studied the face there.

    The Planet Savers

    Marion Zimmer Bradley

  • "Mr. Carter stalked in upon us, at dinner--" his wife said, broodingly.

    Harriet and the Piper

    Kathleen Norris

Word Origin and History for broodingly



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper