adjective, brood·i·er, brood·i·est.

moody; gloomy.
inclined to sit on eggs: a broody hen.

Origin of broody

First recorded in 1505–15; brood + -y1
Related formsbrood·i·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for broody

Historical Examples of broody

  • There were six, but two of them were broody and went off to steal their nests.

    The Lost Wagon

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • Broody hens cannot always be obtained at the time they are wanted.

    Our Domestic Birds

    John H. Robinson

  • She was so broody that she actually insisted on sitting on a Liebig pot.

  • Also a prefix, denoting augmentation: a. superior; high; broody: ad.

    A Pocket Dictionary

    William Richards

  • A broody blackbird 'chinked' anxiously, and a pigeon wheeled aside with a 'swoof.'

    Lives of the Fur Folk

    M. D. Haviland

British Dictionary definitions for broody


adjective broodier or broodiest

moody; meditative; introspective
(of poultry) wishing to sit on or hatch eggs
informal (of a woman) wishing to have a baby of her own
Derived Formsbroodiness, noun
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 broody

1510s, "apt to breed," from brood (v.) + -y (2). Figuratively, of persons, from 1851. Also, in modern use, sometimes "full of maternal yearning." Related: Broodily; broodiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper