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

Stags will fight each other for a variety of reasons, including an increase in testosterone, increased aggression and during breeding season. Fox News, "Deer fight goes viral after images of stags locked in battle emerge," 21 Sep. 2018 While grolers have been bred in captivity for some time, polar bears in the wild prefer to mate on ice while grizzlies mate on land. Olivia Putnal, Woman's Day, "10 Unusual Animal Hybrids," 21 Sep. 2010 Humans have been tinkering with other species since at least the dawn of civilization, from domesticating dogs to breeding more productive crops. Umair Irfan, Vox, "3 scientists sped up evolution in a lab. Their work just won a Nobel Prize.," 3 Oct. 2018 In theory, this could pave the way for breeding violet cress to use its oil to replace petroleum or synthetics as a lubricant in engines. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "This Purple Plant Has a Secret That Could Replace Synthetic Engine Oil," 27 Aug. 2018 Many gene families that are relevant for breeding—i.e., targets for future tinkering—were expanded, including one for disease resistance, one for drought tolerance, and one for winter survival. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "The nightmarishly complex wheat genome finally yields to scientists," 16 Aug. 2018 Rainwater collecting in the tires is ideal for breeding. Joyce Sakamoto, Washington Post, "Ticks and mosquitoes are ready to deliver disease in a bite, but you can stop them," 18 June 2018 Based on the historical pattern, the stage should have been set for an increase in breeding grouse numbers in 2018. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An unexpectedly quiet spring for the usually predictable rough grouse is cause for concern," 16 June 2018 About 165,000 dogs are kept in the facilities strictly for breeding purposes. Stephen Hudak, OrlandoSentinel.com, "American Kennel Club cites 'grave concerns' with Orange County proposal to ban sale of animals bred in 'puppy mills'," 5 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sebrights have much rounder feathers than most rooster breeds. Julie Zickefoose, WSJ, "‘Unnatural Selection’ Review: A Better Bird, Bit by Bit," 22 Nov. 2018 All of the dogs were Samoyeds, a breed of large herding dog with a thick, white, double-layer coat famous for herding reindeer in Siberia, and ranged in age from young puppies to nine years old. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Over 160 Dogs and Puppies Were Rescued From an Iowa Puppy Mill With the ASPCA's Help," 15 Nov. 2018 Feiping epitomizes a certain breed of international Asian that is a hybrid of East and West. Harper's BAZAAR, "Crazy Rich Couture," 15 Aug. 2018 For dependable egg production, choose lightweight breeds such as Black Australorps (shown above). Denise Foley, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Raising Backyard Chickens," 14 Aug. 2018 People were also curious about her dog, who is a German Shepard, though many were asking about the animal's breed. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Salma Hayek Just Shared a Makeup-Free Selfie on Instagram, and It's Stunning," 23 July 2018 So why not breed or enhance corals to resist climate change? Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 2018 Apparently, the Brahma was generally considered the leading meat breed from the mid 1850s through about 1930, leading us to wonder if farmers back in those days were just used to walking around with giant chickens. Diana Bruk, Country Living, "Everyone Is Freaking Out Over This Video of an Insanely Huge Chicken," 20 Mar. 2017 The game features 25 breeds, including Russian Blue, Bombay, Tonkinese, LaPerm and British Shorthair. Armin Brott And Samantha Feuss, The Seattle Times, "5 new twists on classic board games," 24 Aug. 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

2 Dec 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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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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