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

Frequently replacing the water prevents mosquitoes from breeding. Dawn Standke, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Tally up your garden’s earth friendliness," 12 July 2018 They are expected to produce at least one or two more litters according to breeding recommendations from the Golden Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The National Zoo’s Golden Lion Tamarins Delight Curators with the Delivery of Twins," 3 July 2018 But there are some specific steps to take to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and then biting. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "Tips on avoiding mosquitoes this summer," 20 June 2018 The three hosts would do the same: Bougas is the Boston-area-born-and-bred son of Greek parents; Dominguez came to the States from Colombia as a child in the 1970s; and Bakardzhieva emigrated 18 years ago from Bulgaria. Andrew Sessa, BostonGlobe.com, "A restaurant idea cooked up at Patriots Day barbecues," 9 Apr. 2018 While attending high school, Detroit-born-and-bred Ross enrolled in cosmetology school, practicing hairstyles on herself, as well as taking neighbors as clients. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Happy Birthday, Diana Ross! The Pop Icon's 18 Best Beauty Looks of All Time," 26 Mar. 2018 In the 1990s it was known for raising bulls bred for the country’s bullfights and for pastures where cows produced milk sent to nearby towns. New York Times, "In Colombian Death Ranch Case, Some Fear Prosecution Will Be Buried," 8 July 2018 Whippets are a sighthound, originally bred for chasing down game such as rabbits, and their speed is explosive. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "This Whippet Is One of the World's Great Athletes," 18 June 2018 This gives supporters little confidence that Hughes will still be in the job this time next year and such uncertainty will breed uneasiness amongst everyone at the club. SI.com, "Southampton Have Been Sucked into Managerial Merry-Go-Round as They Face Identity Crisis," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shepherds now are among the most common breed of dog that winds up at the shelter, said Knepp. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "Marijuana guard dogs strain animal shelter as illegal pot grows rise in Sacramento," 27 June 2018 At Hakai Magazine, Shanna Baker reports on the ongoing bid to preserve C. rhombifer, the breed of Cuban crocodile beloved of Fidel Castro, who was known to send living and embalmed versions of the animal to allies around the world. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "On Saving the Cuban Crocodile from American Invasion," 22 June 2018 Not everyone starts out looking for a particular breed. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Cats’ quirks? Read about breeds," 27 June 2018 While this is the first banning of a specific dog breed by an airline, legislation that singles out pit bulls is nothing new. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "Delta Bans Pit Bulls As Service and Emotional Support Animals," 21 June 2018 The question is will there also be a space for best-of-breed technologies that can deliver innovation around that. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Box CEO Aaron Levie on Recode Decode," 11 July 2018 The enormous beasts hail from ancient bovine breeds originating in the Iberian peninsula, such as the Barrosã of Portugal and the Rubia Gallega from northern Spain. Oliver Griffin, WSJ, "Like Your Steak Aged 36 Months? Try 17 Years," 10 July 2018 The team’s findings suggest that modern American dogs are descended solely from Eurasian breeds introduced by European settlers. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "European Dogs Devastated Indigenous American Pup Populations," 6 July 2018 Indiana’s Gunthorp Farms provides a humanely and naturally raised heritage breed of chicken. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Here are all the new fried chicken restaurants in Indianapolis," 6 July 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

Middle English breden, from Old English brēdan; akin to Old English brōd brood

Noun

see breed entry 1

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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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

c : impregnate sense 1

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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