breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce breed (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
b : copulate, mate
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

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
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The second is that the U.S. avoids a deep recession, especially one accompanied by raging consumer prices that would breed stagflation. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 26 June 2022 For example, the average smartphone user has at least 35 apps on their phone, four or more active email addresses and countless immersive applications like Slack that often cross-breed into both work and home life. Michael Davis, Forbes, 13 May 2022 The quest continues to add more receivers and tagged animals to the project, including in Central and South America, where birds that breed in Wisconsin spend the winter. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 21 Apr. 2022 The National Park Service and the group are working to protect the oak from fires and the researchers will soon search for acorns to try to help the tree breed. Adriana Pérez, Chicago Tribune, 13 July 2022 Lupi and Iris is that rare breed these days: high-end, upscale dining. jsonline.com, 21 June 2022 Many firms have long refused coverage or charge more for pit bulls and other dogs considered more dangerous, but New York and other states say policies shouldn’t be breed specific. New York Times, 17 June 2022 Wash bedding such as blankets and pet beds, especially those placed near those undisturbed areas where fleas frequently breed. Jamie Kim, Good Housekeeping, 29 Apr. 2022 These birds breed cooperatively where subordinates help raise their younger siblings and defend the nest against predators. Grrlscientist, Forbes, 29 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The ability to turn a quick profit in caring for people in their last days of life is attracting a new breed of hospice owners: private equity firms. Markian Hawryluk, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Generally, the larger the breed, the shorter the leash, and vice versa. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 18 July 2022 Ashley Avila and Charlie Brinckerhoff of Libertyville brought their pups Bella, a female Shih Tzu breed, and Humphrey, a male bulldog-pit bull mix. Karie Angell Luc, Chicago Tribune, 11 July 2022 Authorities took action after confirming that a notoriously destructive breed of mollusk, known as the giant African land snail, was identified by a community gardener in the city of Port Richey. Emily Mae Czachor, CBS News, 30 June 2022 But 2010 swept in a different breed of Republican, powered by Tea Party supporters, that locked in a new conservatism. New York Times, 25 June 2022 For the first time, a Hungarian herding breed, mudi, and a Russian toy competed. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 21 June 2022 But a new breed of digital health startups, including insurtech companies and technology innovators offering point solutions, are now targeting MA. Paddy Padmanabhan, Forbes, 15 June 2022 An impressive light show also featured a corgi, the Queen's beloved dog breed. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, 4 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Noun

noun derivative of breed entry 1

Learn More About breed

Time Traveler for breed

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near breed

breech presentation

breed

breeder

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for breed

Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for breed

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 breed (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
b : copulate, mate
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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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