breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd \
bred\ ˈbred \; 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

In 2018, her most interesting work (to my mind) focused on the platforms’ algorithms — how social media’s tool for personally tailoring content to individual users has bred political extremism. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 An unusual consensus emerged recently between artificial intelligence researchers, activists, lawmakers and many of the largest technology companies: Facial recognition software breeds bias, risks fueling mass surveillance and should be regulated. Dina Bass, The Seattle Times, "Privacy groups urge tech firms to sign Safe Face Pledge to restrict use of facial recognition," 12 Dec. 2018 Copenhagen born-and-bred Rosemarie Vind works part-time for her friends Barbara Potts and Catherine Saks at their label Saks Potts, while also studying film at Columbia University. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "How One Danish It Girl and Her Best Friends Are Restyling Her Mom’s ’90s Couture Clothes," 1 Oct. 2018 In Trinidad, Bourdain didn’t succumb to the allure of a harmonious, multicultural island, but explored how globalization bred social and economic divisions in the country. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "Anthony Bourdain’s Extreme Empathy," 10 June 2018 White Oak has previously bred sandhill cranes but never whooping cranes, Shurter said. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "Rare whooping cranes hatch at Florida wildlife refuge | Miami Herald," 9 May 2018 Critics say the hiring freeze shouldn’t shoulder all of the blame for this discrepancy and that changes in precinct boundaries have bred disproportionate levels of public safety throughout the city. Megan Cassidy, azcentral, "Phoenix police fight rising response times," 6 Nov. 2015 Not for the first time, that greater inclusion, personified by President Barack Obama, has now bred a potent backlash. Yascha Mounk, The New Yorker, "The Rise of McPolitics," 12 Jan. 2015 Born and bred in the Gage Park neighborhood, Aaron Ortiz is looking to unseat a veteran of the Democratic political machine who rules a majority-Latino district. Jacqueline Serrato, Hoy, "Young Chicago candidate aims to represent a majority-Mexican district," 19 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Together, the two breeds have been mating and creating new types of pufferfish. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Climate Change Turning Pufferfish into Mutant Hybrids," 11 Dec. 2018 Members of the appropriations committee are a special breed, tailoring spending to individual projects and federal departments. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Trump, GOP plan to rescind budget spending has precedent but rocky path in Congress," 2 Oct. 2018 Watch out fashion bloggers, there's a new breed in town. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Get Ready To Spoil Your Pooch With These Designer Puppy Products," 26 Sep. 2018 The final variable to consider is the breed of the laying hen. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Why Pastured Eggs Are the Perfect Food," 13 Sep. 2018 This mobile site is perhaps one of the most prominent instances of what could be a new breed of Web application: the Progressive Web Application (PWA). Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Progressive Web Apps moving mainstream as Twitter makes its mobile site the main one," 6 Sep. 2018 Friends, family, organizations like the Humane Society and, if applicable, breed-specific rescue groups are good options. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "Here Are 9 Ways to Deal With a Pet Allergy If You Love Animals," 30 Nov. 2018 Now a new breed of cryptocurrency intermediary is giving fresh urgency to those fears, operating in plain view with scant policing and often allowing users to engage in anonymous transactions. Shane Shifflett, WSJ, "How Dirty Money Disappears Into the Black Hole of Cryptocurrency," 28 Sep. 2018 According to Starfire’s Samantha VanSickle, the Gypsy breed is a draught horse from the United Kingdom often associated with the gypsy culture there. sacbee, "Horse 'feathers'? This one has 'em," 9 June 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

11 Feb 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 \
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 \
bred\ ˈbred \; 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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