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

Chicken companies spent decades breeding birds to grow rapidly and develop large breast muscles. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "Fast-Growth Chickens Produce New Industry Woe: ‘Spaghetti Meat’," 10 Mar. 2019 She is bred to like the move to the turf and can be expected to run much better today with jockey Channing Hill back aboard for trainer Wayne Catalano. Mike Battatglia, The Courier-Journal, "Mike Battaglia's expert picks for Sunday's races at Churchill Downs," 23 June 2018 But she was bred to another successful race horse — Creative Cause. Staff Report, courant.com, "Everything You Need To Know About My Boy Jack Before Placing A Kentucky Derby Bet," 4 May 2018 But he was bred to succeed on dirt and did just that in Dubai. Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, "Mendelssohn is no mystery, rivals say, but a serious Kentucky Derby contender," 3 May 2018 They’ve been selectively bred by the Japanese through the years to produce these colors and patterns. Lauren Mccutcheon, Philly.com, "Parkway CEO Joe Zuritsky is divesting his koi: See them at the Cherry Blossom Festival," 5 Apr. 2018 It is sometimes bred with indica or sativa to increase the speed of growing. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan medical marijuana dictionary: Words you should know," 30 Mar. 2018 Marijuana plants are also in the cannabis genus, but they are bred and cultivated to maximize THC content, which can be as high as 35 percent. Ruth Brown And Sven Berg, idahostatesman, "Sandpoint shop has sold CBD oil since May. Garden City store waits on a permit. | Idaho Statesman," 17 Mar. 2018 But there's something to be said for people of good breeding: They're well bred. P.j. O'rourke, Town & Country, "P.J. O'Rourke on Why Snobbery Is a Good Thing," 15 Sep. 2016

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Here are three gadgets likely to appeal to some common furry breeds. Jason Diamond, WSJ, "The Best Beard Trimmers for Each Man’s Grooming Quirks," 21 Nov. 2018 At one golf resort in Oregon, players will be allowed to swing and putt with a new breed of caddie. Christopher Brito, CBS News, "Play golf with a goat caddie at this Oregon ranch," 9 May 2018 And some breeds have a life span of 60 to 80 years. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Poe, A Love Story," 4 May 2018 Later that day, Gepts drove me out to the university’s experimental farm, where some new breeds were being tested for drought resistance. Junot Díaz, The New Yorker, "The Hunt for Mexico’s Heirloom Beans," 17 Apr. 2018 Some breeds of dogs, including pit bulls and Rottweilers, are banned from the city’s public housing — and the playground was a pet-free zone. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "Grandma loses ear in pit bull attack while shielding kids on playground, NY police say | Miami Herald," 29 Mar. 2018 In some breeds, that growth can occur in a period of weeks. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Start on Day 1 with ‘sit’ and your pup is set for life as a greeter | The Sacramento Bee," 28 Feb. 2018 The overall risk for dogs was low, starting at 0.3 to 2 percent, depending on the breed. Stacey Burling, Philly.com, "Penn study: Summer puppies more prone to heart disease," 21 May 2018 The plastic breeds were on full display floating along Bayou St. John at the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo on Sunday (May 20). Chris Granger, NOLA.com, "A sunny Sunday full of music, food and flotation devices at Bayou Boogaloo: Photos," 20 May 2018

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

22 Apr 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

Comments on breed

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