Definition of brainstorm in English:



  • 1British informal A moment in which one is suddenly unable to think clearly or act sensibly.

    ‘we can only assume that someone simply had a brainstorm and left the important bits out’
    • ‘I keep hanging on to the fact that if he has had a bit of a brainstorm, we might get him back safe and well.’
    • ‘Annabel Goldie had a brainstorm - or maybe she's on something - and started flirting with Jack at Question Time.’
    • ‘She was wondering about taking them back to the newsagent and telling him that the delivery girl had suffered a brainstorm when Astor turned to an inside page to show off the fruits of Tom Maddox's research.’
    • ‘Liverpool had equalised in the 54th minute when McEveley suffered a brainstorm and hit a free kick straight to Garcia, who immediately lobbed the ball through for Baros to score.’
    • ‘Whatever happened, I had a brainstorm, because I thought I had always understood the way it worked.’
    • ‘Unless, of course, Scotland takes a collective brainstorm and opts for the Green Trot Nat coalition which united last week around the separatist standard.’
    • ‘Stead off, ‘Andrew’ Cole on, Radostin Kishishev has an inexplicable brainstorm in front of goal, weakly knocks it to Kiely, and Cole gets in and scores.’
    • ‘My Mother, either under pressure from these 2 rascals or more likely in the middle of some sort of brainstorm, decided to give them a goat instead of giving me my present.’
    • ‘Are we expected to believe that Amazon had some kind of corporate brainstorm and just made up prices for XP?’
    • ‘Well, I had a bit of a brainstorm which, er, resulted in me purchasing a LCD Projector!’
    • ‘Then came Bellamy's brainstorm in retaliation to a foul by Nikolai Ryndyuk on the half way line.’
    • ‘In it he wrote about his brainstorms and his ‘horrible feeling of stress’ which made his body twitch.’
    • ‘The Appeals Court should be deciding any time now whether or not to send the case back to the District Court with a new judge, and unless the judges have had some kind of collective brainstorm since the court last spoke, they'll send it back.’
    • ‘In the next game, Rigel appears to have a brainstorm at - 30, unnecessarily playing a cross-court drive-volley and putting it well wide.’
    • ‘And Jean Van de Velde's brainstorm at Carnoustie four years ago looms large in most memories.’
    • ‘Replacement's brainstorm at line-out put Wallabies back in ascendancy and concession of late penalty sealed fate of Lions.’
    • ‘I think National must have had a brainstorm, because it just beggars belief.’
  • 2A spontaneous group discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems.

    ‘the participants held a brainstorm’
    as modifier ‘brainstorm exercises’
    • ‘A survey by Business Link revealed that few rated brainstorms or discussions at work with colleagues.’
    • ‘If not specified by the customer, this is usually done by a brainstorm session wherein the project management staff express their opinions.’
    • ‘And later, how to stop a brainstorm with more and more American kids on behavior-changing drugs.’
    • ‘‘The tween is much more sophisticated than people credit,’ Marcy George, US licensing director, says during a merchandising brainstorm session.’
    • ‘Inside, the atmosphere is like a shared brainstorm.’
    • ‘I would so loved to have been in the brainstorm for this.’
    • ‘Each Friday they have a brainstorm session, and realize they have a ton of features they'd love to commit to.’
    • ‘The executive leadership symposium started out as a brainstorm for AORN and quickly became a success.’
    • ‘Often we would go into brainstorms, giving new ideas to the designer of the game.’
    • ‘Lament began as a personal and political brainstorm on feelings of loss sparked by the tumult of autumn 2001.’
    • ‘Mensa has adopted the Manchester bee as its symbol for the weekend brainstorm, which runs until Sunday and includes the group's annual general meeting.’
    • ‘Match the purpose to the knowledge and background people might need: otherwise you'll spend your brainstorm meeting lecturing people on the basics of sales strategy.’
    • ‘We recommend that the project hold a brainstorm session in the early phases to determine ‘What is to be risk-managed.’’
    • ‘People come together and you get more of a brainstorm than you do on your own.’
    • ‘Afternoon brainstorms which try to force creativity are actually killing productivity, the study suggests.’
    • ‘‘I love the awkwardness of a brainstorm, the tenseness when different ideas come together,’ she says.’
    • ‘What follows is a brainstorm to work out new ways of tackling the problem for the parent to try.’
    • ‘A quick brainstorm session with a group of fourteen women volunteers in July 2000 produced the following list of benefits of volunteering.’
    • ‘I was in a brainstorm at my company a few months ago, a session of throwing ideas around.’
    • ‘Do the best ideas come at the beginning of a brainstorm or at the end?’
    • ‘To work with staff, consider an informal brainstorm luncheon to seek new ideas for training sessions.’
    1. 2.1North American informal A sudden clever idea.
      ‘these three brainstorms may flop like other well-intentioned innovations’
      • ‘The brainstorm happened at Mama's Royal Cafe, in Oakland, in the midst of a December 1998 breakfast with Anne French, a former Intuit marketing manager.’
      • ‘Anyway, that's my brainstorm in the shower idea for today.’
      • ‘And the answer is, yes, the research divisions generally cringe at the sight of such marketing brainstorms.’
      • ‘Even if your bike ride or speed walk produces no brainstorms, regular exercise reduces stress, increases energy, and makes you feel better in general - all of which can only improve your effectiveness.’
      • ‘As Doctoroff watched in wonder at the nationalistic passion, a brainstorm struck.’
      • ‘In other words, as everyone now recognizes, this work followed the brainstorm of Koltsov's problem of the molecular nature of genes.’
      • ‘Still…… then I had a brainstorm: what if, instead of my making the money, I made sure all of the profits went to a worthy not-for-profit organization?’
      • ‘He used to always show up at this annual campus event we'd have during Pride Week, and one year a theatre major had a big brainstorm.’
      • ‘By the fall of 1963, he was coaching his brainstorm - Canada's first national hockey team.’
      • ‘Anne went door-to-door, sharing her brainstorm.’
      • ‘Armed with a regiment of recipes, which had been perfected over months, Burke had a last minute brainstorm and completely changed his menu the day of the competition.’
      • ‘A couple of years ago, the NME had one of its periodic brainstorms in which it tries to create completely new musical genres or re-invent existing ones.’
      • ‘One night I had a brainstorm - why not use our propane burner for canning?’
      • ‘After a few minutes of futile searching, I had a brainstorm.’
      • ‘As with most of my brainstorms, I then started to wonder about the next step.’
      • ‘One day, while I was planning my lessons with technology on my mind, a brainstorm hit: Why not use the disks and CDs as material for a lesson in sculpture?’
      • ‘A bureaucrat had a brainstorm, and the three-letter system was born, giving a seemingly endless 17, 576 different combinations.’
      • ‘This brainstorm on the eve of October 30th at his home in London, Ontario would lead to Banting formulating a hypothesis.’
      • ‘He ponders the situation for a moment, then has a brainstorm: he sticks the small red ice-scraper in the snow to mark the spot.’
      • ‘I did very little production on this, I supervised and project managed the design team and dealt with several staff issues but actually had minimal design input past the brainstorm.’
      bright idea, brilliant idea, timely thought, revelation
      View synonyms


[no object]
  • Hold a group discussion to produce ideas.

    ‘the group was observed brainstorming about their writing’
    with object ‘groups brainstormed answers to the question’
    • ‘I mean we do group discussions and brainstorming sessions.’
    • ‘We put our heads together; brainstormed for that one novel idea that would persuade our fellow students into parting with their tingling pocket lunchtime coins.’
    • ‘While they debated and brainstormed, they stumbled upon an idea - a single window transport system for the Business Process Outsourcing units across the city.’
    • ‘Schweitzer and his marketing team brainstormed 50 to 60 ideas for the auction, which took months to coordinate with staff from CBS shows.’
    • ‘The group then brainstormed new ideas and shared them.’
    • ‘That is why it is very important to have brainstorming sessions to get better ideas.’
    • ‘Get a group of friends together and spend one hour brainstorming for more ideas how you can help Israel.’
    • ‘On the day we were to write the song, we began by brainstorming again.’
    • ‘Finding the right idea: During a mystical moment, Tom Ashbrook brainstorms with a friend about changing the way people live.’
    • ‘Just brainstorm, getting all your ideas on the table.’
    • ‘We discussed the similarities and differences of the paintings, and brainstormed about why certain artists chose certain mediums with which to paint.’
    • ‘I can't remember seeing a thread on this in The Magick… wanna brainstorm?’
    • ‘They helped each other both as crew and in class discussions as they brainstormed their ideas and talked about techniques for expressing themselves.’
    • ‘The car pulled up outside Matt's father's house in Lake Washington where we'd be having our little meeting to hopefully brainstorm ideas for the video.’
    • ‘Each girl in the program is given a journal in which to record impressions of the art seen, respond to presentations by guest speakers, and brainstorm ideas for their final projects.’
    • ‘After each speaker's presentation, attendees broke into small groups to discuss the talk and brainstorm ways for school psychology to address the issues raised.’
    • ‘If there is a problem with the illustration, help the student brainstorm how to solve the problem.’
    • ‘The dietitians brainstormed and suggested important areas to discuss with the student during the first day together.’
    • ‘For example, when a congregation is now without a pastor, the cluster brainstorms on how to fill the pulpit or networks to find a pastor.’
    • ‘Young skateboarders came up with ideas for the new facility during two brainstorming sessions the last one being held at the beginning of January.’