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

Lumi also addresses the issue of dirty water two ways: Drain vents and an evaporation pan in the base allow any water to dry up quickly and completely—away from the bristles—so there’s never any standing water to breed germs. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "Never Touch a Dirty Toilet Brush Again," 6 May 2019 Hornaday is credited with having saved the bison by moving a remnant herd to the Bronx to be bred and later released. Jennie Erin Smith, WSJ, "‘The Fall of the Wild’ Review: Turning Back the Clock," 12 Apr. 2019 Sally Fox – Organic Cotton Breeder (1989) Fox revolutionized the textile industry through her work as a pollinator trying to breed more pest-resistant plants. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "32 Women Who’ve Changed Life As We Know It," 31 Mar. 2019 Among his other pursuits, James has been known to breed dogs. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Younger Brother James Just Made His Instagram Public," 11 Jan. 2019 The wet conditions offered mosquitoes ample opportunity to breed in stagnant pools of water. Vikki Ortiz, chicagotribune.com, "Chicagoland mosquito fighters struggle to keep up with this summer's surge of blood suckers," 11 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

These are racing breeds—speedy navigational wonders that can rocket home with uncanny accuracy when released half a continent away. James Marson, WSJ, "As Chinese Buyers Flock, Homing Pigeon Prices Soar," 13 May 2019 Together, the two plant breeds (Senecio articulatus x Senecio rowleyanus) create the leaping dolphin succulent that the Internet has been buzzing about nonstop. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Dolphin Succulents Exist and They're Going to Be the New Snake Plants," 30 Apr. 2019 Salmon and other fish that breed in fresh water but live most of their lives in salt water are important to many Alaskans, both as food and as industry, and this measure would seek to provide additional protection for salmon. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "States will vote on these energy and environment issues in midterm elections," 4 Nov. 2018 The American Kennel Club can match you to the perfect breed with their online quiz. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Game Of Thrones Wants You To Stop Buying "Direwolf" Dog Breeds," 16 Apr. 2019 Suddenly, there were more subreddits for skin care (22 at time of publication) than there were for dog breeds. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the SkincareAddiction Subreddit," 5 Apr. 2019 These items lack the little holes on sponges that can hide food and breed bacteria, are easier to clean, and can dry in much less time. Colleen Stinchcombe, SELF, "These 7 Things at Your Office Are Especially Germy," 22 Feb. 2019 Presley, who appears to be a black lab or similar breed, was on hand to show off his PoTS detection skills. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Meets Dogs Trained to Detect Disease," 20 Feb. 2019 Every dog breed has its day at the Westminster Kennel show. Jennifer Peltz, The Seattle Times, "A breed apart: Rare Westminster dogs have ring to themselves," 13 Feb. 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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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

20 May 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

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