[ broo-dee ]
/ ˈbru di /
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adjective, brood·i·er, brood·i·est.
moody; gloomy.
inclined to sit on eggs: a broody hen.
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Origin of broody

First recorded in 1505–15; brood + -y1


brood·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does broody mean?

Broody is an adjective that means moody or gloomy, as in When I’m feeling broody, I paint dark pictures to match my mood.

Broody is a neutral word. It describes a person’s emotions or personality. Sometimes, a fictional character who is broody is actually considered attractive or interesting. For example, Batman is a famously broody superhero, and many fans love him for it.

Broody also describes an urge to sit on eggs, as in Our favorite hen is broody, sitting on her eggs all day long.

Example: Whenever Jordan is feeling broody, he listens to sad music to help express how he feels.

Where does broody come from?

The first records of broody come from around 1505. It is formed from brood, which means “to think or worry persistently about,” and the suffix -y, which creates an adjective that means “characterized by or inclined to.”

Broody is nearly always used to describe human beings, specifically their personality or mood. If you’re feeling broody, you might feel depressed or sad. You might prefer to spend time by yourself thinking about problems you have or the state of the world. You might feel broody for only a little while or you might feel broody all the time.

Broody people are often depicted as being loners or focused on morbid subjects. But you can be a loner without being broody, and you can be broody while wanting to be with other people. Too, you can like morbid subjects whether you feel broody or not.

Two famous broody characters include Professor Snape from the Harry Potter series and Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. Vampires are often depicted in fiction as broody.

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What are some other forms related to broody?

  • broodier (comparative adjective)
  • broodiest (superlative adjective)
  • broodiness (noun)

What are some synonyms for broody?

What are some words that share a root or word element with broody?

What are some words that often get used in discussing broody?

How is broody used in real life?

Broody is most often used to describe someone who is depressed or sad.

Try using broody!

Is the following a correct use of broody?

The broody man smiled and was always happy.

How to use broody in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for broody

/ (ˈbruːdɪ) /

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 forms of broody

broodiness, 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