From Middle English brouken (“to use, enjoy”), from Old English brūcan (“to enjoy, brook, use, possess, partake of, spend”), from Proto-West Germanic *brūkan, from Proto-Germanic *brūkaną (“to enjoy, use”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰruHg- (“to enjoy”). Swedish bruka (“to use”), Dutch gebruiken (“to use”) and German brauchen (“to need”) are cognate.
- (transitive, formal, chiefly in the negative) To bear; endure; support; put up with; tolerate.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:tolerate
- brook no refusal
- I will not brook any disobedience.
- I will brook no impertinence.
- 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter II, in Francesca Carrara. […], volume I, London: Richard Bentley, […], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 22:
- how shall I brook to be the first cause of difference between a father and son, to whom the averted look and the harsh word have been hitherto unknown?
- 1966, Garcilaso de la Vega, H. V. Livermore, Karen Spalding, Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru (Abridged), Hackett Publishing, →ISBN, page 104:
- After delivering the reply he ordered the annalists, who have charge of the knots, to take note of it and include it in their tradition. By now the Spaniards, who were unable to brook the length of the discourse, had left their places and fallen on the Indians
- 2018, Shoshana Zuboff, chapter 13, in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism:
- The norm is submission to the supposed iron laws of technological inevitability that brook no impediment.
- 2019 May 19, Alex McLevy, “The final Game Of Thrones brings a pensive but simple meditation about stories (newbies)”, in The A.V. Club:
- The faith in destiny and moral certainty claimed by would-be liberators brooks no resistance, and to register objections to their devotion is to be seen as the enemy of rightness.
- 2022 February 25, Thomas L. Friedman, “We Have Never Been Here Before”, in The New York Times, →ISSN:
- On just the first day of the war, more than 1,300 protesters across Russia, many of them chanting “No to war,” were detained, The Times reported, quoting a rights group. That’s no small number in a country where Putin brooks little dissent.
- (transitive, obsolete) To use; enjoy; have the full employment of.
- 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii], page 34:
- Yea, my Lord: how brooks your Grace the ayre, / After your late toſſing on the breaking Seas?
- 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 28, in The History of Pendennis. […], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
- The girl’s spirit would brook a husband under no such conditions: she was not minded to run forward because Pen chose to hold out the handkerchief, and her tone, in reply to Arthur, showed her determination to be independent.
- (transitive, obsolete) To earn; deserve.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:deserve
brook (plural brooks)
- A body of running water smaller than a river; a small stream.
- c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene i]:
- empties itself, as doth an inland brook / into the main of waters
- 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., […], →OCLC:
- But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ […] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, […].
- (Sussex, Kent) A water meadow.
- (Sussex, Kent, in the plural) Low, marshy ground.