breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce breed (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 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 Thousands of humpbacks visit Maui’s shores to breed and give birth in the warm waters. Sarah Sekula, USA TODAY, "Astrotourism: These resorts will have you seeing stars," 25 Mar. 2021 Desert tortoises typically only come out to eat, breed and enjoy nice weather. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, "'They make fantastic and personable pets': How to adopt a desert tortoise in Arizona," 9 Mar. 2021 The birds return to land only to breed and raise their young. Eoin Mcsweeney, CNN, "This face-planting albatross in New Zealand is the laugh we all need," 9 Mar. 2021 Many of those nesting banks are warming quickly, and the temperature zone where the European falcons breed is likely to move out into the Arctic Ocean within decades. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "A peregrine falcon’s power to migrate may lie in its DNA," 4 Mar. 2021 In winter, more than 1 million shorebirds that breed in the Arctic will visit and move throughout the coastline of northwest Mexico. Julián García Walther, The Conversation, "Scientist at work: Tracking the epic journeys of migratory birds in northwest Mexico," 3 Mar. 2021 This year, the study of conspiracy theories has become more urgent, as the pandemic has heightened the conditions—panic and isolation—that breed conspiracy thinking. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive," 7 Dec. 2020 Past efforts to breed Sumatran rhinos in captivity have been spectacularly unsuccessful. Henry Nicholls, Scientific American, "Rhinoceros Undergoes Assisted Reproduction to Rescue Species from Extinction," 30 May 2012 The collar comes in four sizes, from extra-small to large, to fit any dog breed. Jennifer Aldrich, Better Homes & Gardens, "Dog and Cat Owners Will Want Everything From Chewy's New Disney Collection," 15 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The base Chromecast devices are something of a dying breed, though. Kevin Luna, chicagotribune.com, "What is Chromecast?," 6 Mar. 2021 Both companies offer best-of-breed communications APIs, so a partnership just made sense. Serenity Gibbons, Forbes, "5 Tips To Make Tech Partnerships Your UX Secret Weapon," 2 Mar. 2021 In his nearly 40-year career in politics, including a decade in the state Senate, Peterson made the most headlines for breaking from his party in places where rank-breakers are a dying breed. Briana Bierschbach, Star Tribune, "A 'giant' in DFL politics, Collin Peterson reflects on three decades in Congress," 6 Feb. 2021 Such dinosaurs are a dying breed, but Nurkic is more than impactful doing traditional center duties such as scoring in the post, rebounding and often operating beautifully in the pick and roll with Lillard. oregonlive, "Were Neil Olshey’s flurry of roster moves enough to build contender around Damian Lillard? Portland Trail Blazers roster analysis," 24 Nov. 2020 In another case involving French bulldogs — a popular breed in the Los Angeles area — two people were arrested earlier this month in connection with a theft in Redondo Beach. Matt Stiles, Los Angeles Times, "Happy ending to latest dog theft: French bulldog puppy found after North Hollywood robbery," 27 Mar. 2021 Now, scientists have pinned down the genetic mutation that likely causes this breed to have this strange form of locomotion. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "This rabbit walks on its ‘hands.’ Scientists think they’ve found the genetic reason why," 25 Mar. 2021 To some, that's a nice way of acknowledging the breed can be aggressive. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Rottweiler is now the most popular dog breed in Detroit, American Kennel Club announces," 16 Mar. 2021 The staff at HeartBrand Beef, which specializes in the Japanese breed of Akaushi beef in Gonzales County near Harwood, is one example. Chuck Blount, Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio's small farmers and ranchers say polar vortex killed most crops, lots of livestock," 1 Mar. 2021

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

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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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 breed (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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Comments on breed

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