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
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 5b(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

Hemp is now bred with higher amounts of CBD and is legal in more states than marijuana. Cotton Codinha, Allure, "A Beginner’s Guide to Common CBD Terms and What They Mean," 8 Aug. 2019 There was a large bird-breeding program on the island for years. Lisa Fung, Los Angeles Times, "Endangered birds at the ‘Tipping Point’: Artist Elizabeth Turk’s latest on Catalina Island," 29 July 2019 Vibrio Vulnificus, on the other hand, lives and breeds in warm and brackish water, and can infect someone by entering the body through a cut or scrape. Justine Griffin, sun-sentinel.com, "Why is flesh-eating bacteria on the rise? Some point to climate change," 26 July 2019 Vibrio Vulnificus, on the other hand, lives and breeds in warm and brackish water, and can infect someone by entering the body through a cut or scrape. Justine Griffin, orlandosentinel.com, "Why is flesh-eating bacteria on the rise? Some point to climate change," 26 July 2019 Two varieties — Victor and Warrior — are bred for cooler climates from Santa Maria south along California’s coast. Diane J Nelson, The Mercury News, "UC Davis releases 5 new ‘warrior’ strawberries to fight disease, increase yields," 11 July 2019 Like rabbits, bad writers are everywhere, bred by M.F.A. programs across the country, turning out banal, interchangeable stories. Hermione Hoby, The New Yorker, "What Does It Mean to Be a “Real” Writer?," 3 July 2019 In the experiments, golden retrievers are bred to have a crippling form of muscular dystrophy that leaves them struggling to walk, swallow and breathe. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Paul McCartney Urges Texas A&M University to Stop Using Dogs for Experiments," 26 June 2019 For one thing, they’ve been bred to have longer and wider udders, rather than deep ones. Maureen O’hagan, Quartz, "The way we breed cows is setting them up for extinction," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The newer breeds of fertility firm are similarly criticised for misleading customers. The Economist, "The fertility business is booming," 8 Aug. 2019 Among the rare breed of hitter since Williams, two players with at least 400 plate appearances stand out. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "The Hard, Historic Roads That Lead to Baseball's Magic Number: .400," 8 Aug. 2019 Rescue groups are another good resource for some dog breeds. Cathy M. Rosenthal, ExpressNews.com, "What do you do if you have to rehome a pet," 2 Aug. 2019 Ammal’s research into hybrids helped the Institute identify native plant varieties to cross-breed with Saccharum in order to produce a sugar cane crop better suited for India’s tropical environmental conditions. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Pioneering Female Botanist Who Sweetened a Nation and Saved a Valley," 1 Aug. 2019 My studies show that enforcement actions that are perceived by immigrants to be arbitrary, discriminatory or unjust breed governmental distrust and undercut their confidence in the legitimacy of the law and legal authorities. Emily Ryo, The Conversation, "How ICE enforcement has changed under the Trump administration," 29 July 2019 The aggregated national rate of fatal injury was 1.68 per 1,000 starts in 2018, according to the Equine Injury Database kept by the Jockey Club, the breed registry for thoroughbred horses in the U.S. and Canada. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Horse racing grapples with heavy issues in wake of Hollendorfer ban," 29 June 2019 For this reason, some breeds work better than others. Alexis Gravely, WSJ, "What’s Cuter Than a Baby Cheetah? A Baby Cheetah With Its Puppy Pal," 28 June 2019 State wildlife officials will continue to release the turtles for two more years and to monitor their progress; the goal is to eventually have them breed in the wild and become a self-sustaining population. Nara Schoenberg, chicagotribune.com, "‘A face only its mother could love’: Ugly, cranky, endangered alligator snapping turtles get boost from Illinois students, who raise and release them into the wild," 27 July 2019

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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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breed

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

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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 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
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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More from Merriam-Webster on breed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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