breed·​ing ˈbrē-diŋ How to pronounce breeding (audio)
: the action or process of bearing or generating
archaic : education
she had her breeding at my father's chargeWilliam Shakespeare
: training in or observance of the proprieties
: the sexual propagation of plants or animals

Examples of breeding in a Sentence

She became involved in the breeding of sled dogs. His politeness shows good breeding. a person who lacks breeding
Recent Examples on the Web While headquartered in Mississippi, Cal-Maine Foods has breeding facilities, feed mills, pullet facilities and distribution centers nationwide, including some in the Bluegrass state. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 4 Apr. 2024 Reagan held on to the birds for a few years, then sent Captain to the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Mo., in 1988, and Carol went to the National Zoo in D.C. Captain became part of a critical conservation breeding program, fathering about six healthy eaglets that were released into the wild. Sydney Page, Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2024 Health officials in Puerto Rico are urging people to use insect repellent and eliminate possible mosquito breeding sites by preventing water from accumulating. Rafy Rivera, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 The use of rat poisons is halted in the city’s parks during nesting season, from February through August, or when a breeding pair of birds of prey is present in or near a park or park area, according to a Parks Department spokesman. Ed Shanahan, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2024 Talk about speed: Our scientists are already decreasing plant breeding cycles from five years down to merely four months with precision breeding. Bill Anderson, Fortune, 21 Mar. 2024 Preventing them from breeding is important, Izon said, for the safety of us and our neighbors. Caralin Nunes, The Arizona Republic, 16 Mar. 2024 The project, named A Hop of Hope, is typical of Citizen Zoo’s approach, which invites supporters to get their hands dirty in captive breeding programs, translocating species and reintroducing them to restored sites. Matthew Ponsford, WIRED, 19 Mar. 2024 Devlin believes the best chance to have a breeding population naturally return to the U.S. is to maintain connectivity between populations throughout the jaguars’ range, especially between Sonora and the Southwest. Hayleigh Evans, The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'breeding.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of breeding was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near breeding

Cite this Entry

“Breeding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: training especially in manners
: the producing and raising of plants or animals by sexual reproduction

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