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 Fruit flies observed by hot food deli case and appeared to be breeding in pooled water on employee side of the hot service case. oregonlive, "These 21 Oregon grocery stores did the worst on state health inspections," 10 Jan. 2020 How effective Just Mercy is depends on how willing the audience is to look around and see the same injustice breeding today, in the shadows with the same hapless victims. Kareem Abdul-jabbar, The Hollywood Reporter, "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 'Just Mercy' and the Difference Between Black and White Legal Dramas," 9 Jan. 2020 Building a 1,500-mile long permanent barrier across one of the most sensitive landscapes in America, in addition to the impact on humans, could split breeding animal populations in half. Jordan G. Teicher, The New Republic, "An Animal’s-Eye View of Mass Extinction in Progress," 7 Jan. 2020 China listed the fish as a nationally protected animal in the 1980s, but the IUCN said the construction of dams on the Yangtze River continued to block its migration route and prevented it from breeding in the upper reaches of the river. Eric Cheung, CNN, "Up to 23 feet long, the Chinese paddlefish was the giant of the Yangtze. And we killed it," 7 Jan. 2020 That would be the North Island brown kiwi, says Kathy Brader, senior bird keeper at the National Zoo, which in 1975 bred the first kiwi outside its native New Zealand. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "What Bird Lays the Biggest Eggs Compared to Its Body Size? Where Does ‘Lame Duck’ Come From? And More Questions From Our Readers," 20 Dec. 2019 Perry says wild silverspots lay their eggs in the Oregon Zoo lab each year, but this is the first time a female butterfly bred in captivity. USA TODAY, "First Spouse Dolls, Snowstang, sand sculpture: News from around our 50 states," 7 Dec. 2019 There is an actual Piaget rose—a long-stemmed bloom, bred in the early 1980s, notable for its hot pink color, heady scent, and a lushness often compared to a peony’s. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Stellene’s Most Wanted: Piaget," 6 Dec. 2019 Mosquitoes bred in the stagnant water, causing the Department of Public Health to put the property under regular surveillance. J.k. Dineen, SFChronicle.com, "Cole Hardware eyes Bernal Heights return three years after fire," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Toyota may have built the best Camry yet, and the hybrid version exemplifies the breed with seamless operation and excellent fuel economy. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "2019 Honda Accord Hybrid vs. 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid: Which Gas-Sipping Family Sedan Is Better?," 8 Jan. 2020 Terrence and Cindy Bechter-Smith have run Goatfeathers Point Farm at the park for 14 years, pasture-raising rare-breed livestock. NBC News, "Could farming secure the future of America's national parks?," 4 Jan. 2020 Well, except for the Cowboys’. Dak has the prerequisites to rank with the NFL’s new breed. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "The next Cowboys head coach’s first order of business should be to fix the defense, and then come these decisions," 2 Jan. 2020 The total North American whooping crane population is estimated to be 815, but the eastern migratory population, which summers and breeds in Wisconsin before traveling to Alabama or sometimes Georgia or Florida for the winter is just 85 birds. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Endangered whooping cranes are back at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge," 24 Dec. 2019 There’s a certain breed of consumer that revels in the danger of last-minute holiday shopping. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Here’s How Late Retailers Are Open on Christmas Eve," 23 Dec. 2019 And while Maine has a long tradition of moderate Republican senators including Margaret Chase Smith, Olympia Snowe, and Cohen, the breed is becoming more rare. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 18 Dec. 2019 In a blog post, Gough Island field researcher Chris Jones writes that because mice are opportunistic and breed rapidly, changes in behavior spread through the population like wildfire. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Invasive Mice Are Gnawing the Scalps of Endangered Albatrosses," 10 Dec. 2019 This elite breed of all-star face cleansers includes award-winning classics that are gentle as can be, dermatologist favorites that pack the benefits, and some fancy finds that give your skin the royal treatment. Allure, "The 21 Best Facial Cleansers of All Time," 3 Dec. 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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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

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 21 January 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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