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

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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 Exercises with allies on the territory of Bulgaria should contribute to building security and trust in collective defence, not breed tension, Radev added, according to NOVA. NBC News, 3 June 2021 Because elephants do not breed well out of the wild, many in captivity—especially those used for entertainment—are abducted as calves. Rachel Nuwer, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Apr. 2021 Valpo followed the drought with a three-game winning streak, but the strong spurt could not breed consistency. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Mar. 2021 Misunderstandings can breed distrust, and distrust can doom a friendship, let alone a romance. Mark Antonio Wright, National Review, 22 May 2021 Sure, youth can breed mistakes, but Monday’s game was as good of an example for the young Huskies as any as to what postseason basketball looks like. Lori Riley, courant.com, 1 Apr. 2021 Bonnetheads are a small species of hammerhead known to travel hundreds of miles and then return to the same estuaries they were born in to breed every year. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 May 2021 The Patuxent Wildlife Research Center began the first captive breeding program for whooping cranes in 1965, and in 1976 sent one of its cranes, a female named Tex, to the ICF to see if Archibald and his staff could successfully breed her. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 May 2021 The mouse deer born in Bristol comes from parents who were brought to the zoo to breed more of these creatures. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 22 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The construction might be masterful, but the attraction of this new breed of sensual clothing is painfully obvious. Steff Yotka, Vogue, 27 May 2021 Spanish nightlife is a breed of its own, from Madrid to Mallorca. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, 26 May 2021 DarkSide, which emerged last August, epitomized this new breed. Renee Dudley, ProPublica, 24 May 2021 The venture is meant to cultivate a new breed of art buyer, one who may feel more comfortable making a decision for themselves, with less interest in the hand holding that dealers often provide. New York Times, 19 May 2021 As low mortgage rates fuel surging home sales across the country, the pandemic and a growing acceptance of remote work are upending U.S. migration patterns and creating a new breed of equity migrants. Jim Buchta, Star Tribune, 15 May 2021 The first of this new breed of publicity-friendly ransomware extortionist came in late 2019, with the emergence of Maze, which became infamous for attacks on U.S. schools. Thomas Brewster, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Although wines that come in a can have seen startling innovations since the synthetic corn-syrupy flavors of the 1980s, the new breed probably isn’t taught in most serious wine education programs. Amanda Schuster, Forbes, 13 May 2021 This breed of hackers targets cities and organizations that have weak IT systems, which is often the case for municipalities and school districts without fat war chests. Washington Post, 13 May 2021

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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for breed

breed

verb

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 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

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