Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To put up with; tolerate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A natural stream of water, too small to be called a river.
  • To draw together and threaten rain: said of the clouds: with up.
  • To use; enjoy; have the full employment of.
  • . To earn; deserve.
  • To bear; endure; support; put up with: always in a negative sense.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A natural stream of water smaller than a river or creek.
  • transitive verb obsolete To use; to enjoy.
  • transitive verb To bear; to endure; to put up with; to tolerate.
  • transitive verb obsolete To deserve; to earn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a body of running water smaller than a river; a small stream.
  • noun Sussex a water meadow.
  • noun Sussex, in the plural low, marshy ground.
  • verb transitive, obsolete, except in Scots To use; enjoy; have the full employment of.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To earn; deserve.
  • verb transitive To bear; endure; support; put up with; tolerate (usually used in the negative, with an abstract noun as object).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb put up with something or somebody unpleasant
  • noun a natural stream of water smaller than a river (and often a tributary of a river)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English brōc.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English brouken, from Old English brūcan, to use, enjoy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English brouken ("to use, enjoy"), from Old English brūcan ("to enjoy, brook, use, possess, partake of, spend"), from Proto-Germanic *brūkanan (“to enjoy, use”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrūg- (“to enjoy”). Cognate with Scots brook, brouk ("to use, enjoy"), West Frisian brûke ("to use"), Dutch bruiken ("to use"), German brauchen ("to need, require, use"), Norwegian bruke ("to use"), Latin fruor ("enjoy"). Related to fruit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English brōc ("brook, stream, torrent"), from Proto-Germanic *brōkaz (“stream”), from Proto-Indo-European *mrāǵ- (“silt, slime”). Cognate with Dutch broek ("marsh, swamp"), German Bruch ("marsh"), Ancient Greek βράγος (brágos, "shallows") and Albanian bërrak ("swampy soil").

Examples

Comments

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  • I quite like this word as a verb -- as in sentences like "John will brook no dissent around here." (Not true.)

    December 27, 2006

  • Is brooking sent the same as not brooking dissent? But not to worry, I brook all kinds of things around here.

    December 27, 2006

  • brook to tolerate is the meaning: but also to flow easily?? (but not silently but with white noise)

    December 27, 2006

  • I like brook as a verb, but not as a noun, as in a babbling brook. The two meanings have separate etymologies, so this isn't inconsistent.

    July 10, 2007

  • I like brook as a verb. And as a noun, it is fine. However, it just occured to me why I always think a brook should be still, like a pond.

    Fishy, fishy in the brook

    Pappa catch you on a hook

    Mamma fry you in a pan

    Baby eat you like a man.

    I always imaged the brook in the rhyme to be a body of still water. Babbling brook just sounds *wrong* to me.

    July 10, 2007

  • its meaning has gone from 'to enjoy' to 'to tolerate'

    September 8, 2009