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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English brouken (to use, enjoy), from Old English brūcan (to enjoy, brook, use, possess, partake of, spend), from Proto-Germanic *brūkaną (to enjoy, use), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰruHg- (to enjoy). Cognate with Scots brook, brouk (to use, enjoy), West Frisian brûke (to use), Dutch gebruiken (to use), German brauchen (to need, require, use), Latin fruor (enjoy). Related to fruit.


brook (third-person singular simple present brooks, present participle brooking, simple past and past participle brooked)

  1. (transitive, obsolete, except in Scots) To use; enjoy; have the full employment of.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To earn; deserve.
  3. (transitive) To bear; endure; support; put up with; tolerate (usually used in the negative, with an abstract noun as object).
    I will not brook any disobedience.   I will brook no refusal.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 6, A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      But Sophia's mother was not the woman to brook defiance. After a few moments' vain remonstrance her husband complied. His manner and appearance were suggestive of a satiated sea-lion.
    • 2005, Nicholas Ostler, Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World, Harper:
      Nevertheless, Garcilaso does claim that the Spaniards ‘who were unable to brook the length of the discourse, had left their places and fallen on the Indians’.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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), Low German Brook, Ancient Greek βράγος (brágos, shallows) and Albanian bërrak (swampy soil).


brook (plural brooks)

  1. A body of running water smaller than a river; a small stream.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy viii. 7
      The Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      empties itself, as doth an inland brook / into the main of waters
    • 1879, Richard Jefferies, The Amateur Poacher, chapter1:
      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, [].
  2. (Sussex, Kentish) A water meadow.
  3. (Sussex, Kentish, in the plural) Low, marshy ground.



From Middle English bro(o)ken (to use, enjoy, digest), from Old English brūcan (to use, enjoy). See also brouk.


tae brook

  1. To enjoy the use or owndom of.