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 An England doubtless there always will be, but England today is sadly diminished from the England that once bred Anglophiles round the world, myself among them. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "‘Signatures’ Review: In His Good Books," 15 May 2020 What everyone’s talking about A tragedy: An Illinois woman was mauled to death by her recently adopted 55-pound French Bulldog, which had been bred to fight. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere (Wisconsin)," 14 May 2020 According to Cooper and county Animal Care and Control Department Program Manager Robin Van Sickle, there were reports that Blue was rescued from a dog fighting ring, or had been bred to be a fighting dog. Hilary Shenfeld, PEOPLE.com, "Chicago-Area Woman Is Mauled to Death by Her Adopted French Bulldog: 'She Loved That Animal'," 13 May 2020 And of course, that breeds just further skepticism. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "'This system stinks': Schiff accuses Barr of politicizing DOJ on behalf of Trump after Manafort release," 13 May 2020 Human nature causes us to insert ourselves into the dog’s life when dogs really just need some encouragement to do what they were bred to do. Tom Keer, Outdoor Life, "7 Top Hunting Dog Training Tips from World-Class Experts," 11 May 2020 Raccoon dogs are a massive industry in China, where they are bred on farms and caught in the wild for their fur. Pj Smith, refinery29.com, "Ending The Fur Trade Could Help Prevent Future Pandemics," 7 May 2020 Gossage contended their short-term losses may breed the survival of several smaller teams, as sponsors around the paddock begin to see exposure that stems from more than just the weekly iRacing events that have now ceased until the season’s start. Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar details plans for season-opener at Texas Motor Speedway, including no fans," 7 May 2020 The civil rights movement is now commonly depicted as a stand-alone racial project, one that bred lethal white resentment and consequently fostered an entire political realignment. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "When Blackness Is a Preexisting Condition," 4 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Next, the researchers scanned the brains of thirteen pet dogs of various breeds in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner while presenting the pooches with objects emitting neutral or weak thermal radiation. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "New sense discovered in dog noses: The ability to detect heat," 28 Feb. 2020 In all, more than 7,000 canines are expected to show up for the event, which includes judging of breeds based on standards set by the American Kennel Club. Greg Crawford, Freep.com, "Detroit's Top 10: Cool things to do this weekend, including Novi dog show, Hip Hop Smackdown, Detroit Boat Show," 15 Jan. 2020 Yet the appeal of pure breeds probably owed less to eugenics than aspiration—and still does. The Economist, "Lexington Impoochment," 21 Nov. 2019 All these dogs also appear on the American Kennel Club’s 2018 list of top breeds in Orlando, at least within the top 20 spots, but the AKC data suggests a slightly different trend. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "What’s the most popular dog breed in Orlando?," 27 Sep. 2019 The expanding premium brand keeps upwards of 350 cows of three different breeds — Brown Swiss, Jerseys and Holsteins. Deborah Hornblow, courant.com, "Boutique Farms: Creative And Resourceful Farmers Find Their Artisanal Niche," 25 June 2019 Corgis, beagles, Malteses, dachshunds, retrievers and dozens of other breeds roamed with their owners among the vendor stalls, a plot of pop-up tents that sprung up minutes before the event. Melissa Chen, The Mercury News, "Northside’s ‘Barkesto’ brings together neighbors with food, art and music," 19 June 2019 The researchers also compared facial expressions that both types of creatures (although not of the same breeds) in animal shelters and wolf parks, finding dogs were much more inclined to make cute faces. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Why you think your dog loves you," 18 June 2019 Since the 16th century, the planet has seen 680 vertebrae extinctions, with more than 9 percent of all domesticated breeds of mammals used for food and agriculture becoming extinct by 2016. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Our Planet Just Got a Health Check, and the Diagnosis Is Grim," 6 May 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

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 29 May. 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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