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

Pelican numbers surge again during the summer as birds return from breeding grounds, generally peaking in late summer. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pelican odd by design, graceful in flight," 13 June 2019 The Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation bred and hatched the snakes, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Free the snakes: Florida scientists release America’s longest snakes into the wild," 12 June 2019 Such a contrasting pattern, which may become more common in a warming world, breeds storminess. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "US just topped 125-year-old, 12-month rainfall total," 10 June 2019 Edge Opportunity’ ‘Edge opportunity’ Seed and pesticide giant Bayer, which bought U.S. seed purveyor Monsanto this year, is breeding corn plants to be faster-maturing to produce crops in cooler climates. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, "A Warming Climate Brings New Crops to Frigid Zones," 25 Nov. 2018 Schools are breeding grounds for germs and infections, which means back-to-school time often comes with a whole slew of colds and illnesses. Lindsay Carlton, Fox News, "Back-to-school germs 101: What you need to know," 7 Sep. 2018 While antiterrorism experts consider the countries to be breeding grounds for violent extremism, the Supreme Court’s ruling will do nothing to hasten the end of the underlying conflicts there. New York Times, "Trump Travel Ban: How It Affects the Countries," 26 June 2018 Unfortunately, the crabs’ numbers have declined precipitously, and the birds haven’t been breeding as much as before. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Will Big Pharma Help Save Some of the Oldest Marine Life on Earth?," 17 May 2018 Before, it was thought that bowhead whales were very similar to their humpback cousins, which are widely studied in breeding grounds near Mexico and Hawaii. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., chicagotribune.com, "Scientists discover a whale species' mating songs are as complex as jazz," 4 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each event includes fun raffle prizes for pets and their owners that benefit Last Hope K9, a nonprofit, all-breed dog rescue based in Massachusetts. Necee Regis, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 11 June 2019 Inver Grove Heights will open up its only off-leash dog park — a 10-acre pooch playground, with one acre set aside for small breed dogs — during a public event from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Former polluted land in Inver Grove Heights now a dog park," 10 June 2019 Or meet the resident hens, sheep, alpaca, heritage-breed pigs, and Dexter and Jethro, the farm’s very small steers. Max Falkowitz, New York Times, "A Day at Queens Farm (and the Restaurants You Should Dig Into Afterward)," 5 June 2019 While the indignities of air travel are as immutable as the physics that keep you airborne, the designers of these new-breed airports have found ways to inject beauty, efficiency and even fun into your travels. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, "New Airport Terminals Where Killing Time Has Its Perks," 30 Apr. 2019 Chef Dan Barber, of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, tells me that older-breed chickens both are better at foraging and lay fewer eggs, which are richer and more concentrated. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Why Pastured Eggs Are the Perfect Food," 13 Sep. 2018 Pookie and Beau, her mixed-breed rescues, watched strangers approach warily. Scott Wilson, Anchorage Daily News, "The earth cracked open. Walls of lava encroached. That’s just life on a Hawaiian volcano.," 20 May 2018 In a city once home to the Broad Street Bullies, Gaethje and Barboza are ready to usher in a new breed of bruisers. Dan Gelston, The Seattle Times, "Broad Street Bullies: UFC set to hit Philly for 3rd time," 29 Mar. 2019 Instead, what doomed the jet was something altogether different—a new breed of smaller jets that could bypass those giant airports in the first place. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Airports Worried the A380 Was Too Big. Turns Out, That Wasn’t the Problem.," 14 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

17 Jun 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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