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brood

Line breaks: brood
Pronunciation: /bruːd
 
/

Definition of brood in English:

noun

1A family of birds or other young animals produced at one hatching or birth: a brood of chicks
More example sentences
  • Within three days of birth a brood of young may have been led a distance of almost a mile.
  • The first nest containing a brood of tiny young was found in a slight depression in the ground beneath birches.
  • Competition between siblings for resources is widespread in the broods of altricial birds.
Synonyms
family, hatch, clutch, nest, litter
1.1 informal A large family of children: she was brought up as part of a brood of eight
More example sentences
  • She is one of a brood of eight, the majority of whom were female.
  • His five sisters and their broods descend each summer creating an instant barrage of family noise.
  • Just around the corner from me there is a French infants' school, and the street is clogged with cars each morning as elegant French mothers arrive with their smart little broods.
Synonyms
2 [mass noun] Bee or wasp larvae.
Example sentences
  • Sealed worker brood was taken from the experimental colonies and incubated until adult emergence.
  • Efficient concurrent functioning of both the guard and brood stealers is necessary to complete the task of stealing brood.
  • In honeybees, worker policing via egg eating enforces functional worker sterility in colonies with a queen and brood.

verb

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1 [no object] Think deeply about something that makes one unhappy, angry, or worried: she had brooded over the subject a thousand times
More example sentences
  • A severe attack usually coincides with a stinking hangover and can start as early as midday, from whence I will spend the rest of the weekend brooding on the inevitability of Monday morning.
  • ‘The day after the defeat is probably the worst, you start brooding on it, on what went wrong,’ Ford said.
  • Where comedy was once light-hearted, it now seems to have turned into the television equivalent of Gordon Brown, a serious figure brooding on the great issues.
Synonyms
2 [with object] (Of a bird) sit on (eggs) to hatch them: the male pheasant-tailed jacana takes over once the eggs are laid and broods them
More example sentences
  • Many of the birds are already brooding aquamarine eggs, but some are still in the construction phase.
  • All our study birds continued brooding and provisioning their chicks after the removal of telemetry gear.
  • Incubation lasts 10 to 16 days; chicks hatch synchronously and are brooded for about 4 days depending on the weather.
Synonyms
2.1(Of a fish, frog, or invertebrate) hold (developing eggs) within the body.
Example sentences
  • This sponge broods embryos and larvae at all times, allowing year-round access to biological material.
  • Cichlids follow a typical developmental pattern but some species brood the eggs in the mouth while developing.
  • A few sea urchins brood their eggs in special pouches, but most provide no parental care.

adjective

[attributive] Back to top  
(Of an animal) kept to be used for breeding: a brood mare
More example sentences
  • For the second successive year Driffield-based hunter breeders Michael and Jeryl Grubb landed the county championship for home-bred brood mares.
  • To the rear of Kelgara House brood mares graze in the fields of the neighbouring Meadow Court Stud.
  • We ne'er shall look upon her like again, unless we can prevail upon some Bedouin Chief to present us with a brood mare, and then the racing world shall see what a breed we shall introduce into this country.

Origin

Old English brōd, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch broed and German Brut, also to breed. The verb was originally used with an object, i.e. 'to nurse (feelings) in the mind' (late 16th century), a figurative use of the idea of a hen nursing chicks under her wings.

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