breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce bred (audio) \; breeding

Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation yet every mother breeds not sons alike— Shakespeare
2a : beget sense 1 He bred a daughter.
b : produce, engender despair often breeds violence
3 biology : to propagate (plants or animals) sexually and usually under controlled conditions bred several strains of corn together to produce a superior variety
4a : bring up, nurture We were born and bred in the country.
b : to inculcate by training breed good manners into one's children
5a : mate entry 4 sense 3 the business of breeding cattle a horse that is bred to a donkey
b : to mate with : inseminate
c : impregnate sense 2 delivered her kittens 63 days after being bred
6 physics : to produce (a fissionable element) by bombarding a nonfissionable element with neutrons from a radioactive element

intransitive verb

1a : to produce offspring by sexual union places where mosquitoes breed
2 : to propagate animals or plants

breed

noun

Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 biology : a group of usually domesticated animals or plants presumably related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most characters exotic breeds of cats retrievers and other popular dog breeds
2 : a number of persons of the same stock (see stock entry 1 sense 4a(1))
3 : class, kind a new breed of athlete such people are a dying breed

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Examples of breed in a Sentence

Verb He got into the business of breeding cattle. The plants are bred to resist disease and drought. She believes that we are breeding a generation of children who know nothing about the history of their country. Noun The collie is a working breed. a new breed of athlete
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Police associations and unions have argued residency requirements limit the talent pool and breed corruption. Mark Nichols, USA TODAY, "Should police officers be required to live in the cities they patrol? There's no evidence it matters," 14 June 2020 In the 1980s, state and federal wildlife agencies captured the remaining 22 birds in the wild to breed them in captivity in an attempt to revive the species. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Endangered California condors spotted in Sequoia National Park for the first time in nearly 50 years," 8 July 2020 That tie to real-life economics can breed desperation. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "Bot Mafias Have Wreaked Havoc in World of Warcraft Classic," 17 June 2020 Tigers have long been commercialized in China, and while there are farms that breed them in captivity for slaughter, wild tigers remain more valuable because they’re seen as rarer and more potent. Rachael Bale, National Geographic, "Jaguar trafficking linked to Chinese investment in South America," 9 June 2020 The billions of the big bugs will only be around for a short while, though, just long enough for mayflies to breed and deposit the next generation’s eggs on Lake Erie. cleveland, "Mayflies are in full flight over Lake Erie, which helps those seeking walleye and perch: Northeast Ohio fishing report for Thursday, June 25," 25 June 2020 Mosquitoes that carry the virus breed in stagnant water. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "Third mosquito sample tests positive for West Nile virus in Frisco," 23 June 2020 Moreover, fireflies can breed this summer without interference from light pollution and disturbance in forests around the country—likely serving as a boon to the insects, many of which are declining across their range. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "A rare look at fireflies that blink in unison, in a forest without tourists," 11 June 2020 Such indoctrination could breed another generation of rebels. The Economist, "Horsemen of the apocalypse Covid-19 raises the risks of violent conflict," 18 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Its name is derived from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where the earliest specimens of the breed were found, the American Kennel Club site states. Laura Peters, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Chihuahuas are dogs, not large rats," 9 July 2020 One is a more typical burger with washugyu beef, a half-Japanese, half-American breed raised in Oregon. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Tuna belly burger restaurant Masabaga opens in Oakland," 9 July 2020 The 6-year-old mixed breed dog was tested after its owners contracted COVID-19 and the dog began suffering from a neurological illness, the Georgia Department of Health said in a news release Wednesday. USA TODAY, "Hot dog contest, outdoor ballet, mask protests: News from around our 50 states," 7 July 2020 Greyhound Club of America, the national breed club for greyhounds within the AKC, named him as a Multitalented Greyhound Level 2. Reach out to others Like any good athlete, Dolce spends time volunteering. Leslie Barker, Dallas News, "Life is Dolce: Lessons from a Frisco family’s beloved greyhound," 7 July 2020 Kathleen Cadenhead grew up around Scottish Terriers, her family’s favorite breed of canine. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio ‘foster mom’ helps place dogs in new homes as adoptions have increased during the coronavirus pandemic," 26 June 2020 Vanishing sea ice also means that seals and sea lions in cold regions will have less space to emerge from the water to rest, breed, or escape predators, forcing them to crowd more tightly together. Popular Science, "Mass die-offs in marine mammals are accelerating, and climate change will only make it worse," 22 June 2020 Cosby adopted her first Belgian Laekenois from Canada in 2010 after years of tracking down the breed. Khrysgiana Pineda, USA TODAY, "Newly recognized dog breed by the American Kennel Club: The rare Belgian Laekenois," 3 July 2020 The new breed of RNA vaccines like Moderna’s can be designed on computers based on the genetic code of the virus and manufactured quickly. Christopher Rowland, Washington Post, "A covid-19 vaccine rooted in a government partnership is fueling financial rewards for company executives," 2 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of breed

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for breed

Verb and Noun

Middle English breden, from Old English brēdan; akin to Old English brōd brood

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Time Traveler for breed

Time Traveler

The first known use of breed was before the 12th century

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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for breed

breed

verb
How to pronounce breed (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to keep and take care of animals or plants in order to produce more animals or plants of a particular kind
: to produce young animals, birds, etc. : to produce offspring by sexual reproduction
: to take care of and teach (a child who is growing up)

breed

noun

English Language Learners Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

: a particular kind of dog, cat, horse, etc. : a kind of animal that has been produced by breeding
: a kind of person

breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred \; breeding

Kids Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to produce or increase (animals or plants) by sexual reproduction Ranchers breed cattle for market.
2 : to produce offspring by sexual reproduction Mosquitoes breed in damp areas.
3 : to bring up : train I was born and bred in this town.
4 : to bring about : cause Poverty breeds despair.

Other Words from breed

breeder noun

breed

noun

Kids Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a kind of animal or plant that is found only under human care and is different from related kinds a breed of long-haired dogs
2 : class entry 1 sense 6, kind I don't like his breed of humor.

breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce bred (audio) \; breeding

Medical Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation
2 : to propagate (plants or animals) sexually and usually under controlled conditions
3a : mate
b : to mate with : inseminate

intransitive verb

1a : to produce offspring by sexual union
2 : to propagate animals or plants

breed

noun

Medical Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

: a group of animals or plants presumably related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most characters especially : such a group differentiated from the wild type under domestication

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More from Merriam-Webster on breed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breed

Spanish Central: Translation of breed

Nglish: Translation of breed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about breed

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