As you would expect, the word brainstorm involves thought. A brainstorm can be an "Aha!" moment, while brainstorming is the process of trying to think of ideas.

If you've ever needed to find a topic for a paper and have just started listing every idea coming to you, you know what it's like to brainstorm. People brainstorm when they need a new idea. You can also say you had a brainstorm when a good idea or solution occurs to you. Often, this kind of brainstorm happens when you're not even working on the problem. For example, a scientist might have a brainstorm for a new project in the shower.

Definitions of brainstorm
  1. verb
    try to solve a problem by thinking intensely about it
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    type of:
    cerebrate, cogitate, think
    use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments
  2. noun
    the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation
    synonyms: brainwave, insight
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    show 4 types...
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    mental understanding as an enlightening experience
    an enlightening or astonishing disclosure
    breakthrough, discovery, find
    a productive insight
    a sudden brilliant understanding
    type of:
    apprehension, discernment, savvy, understanding
    the cognitive condition of someone who understands
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