breed·ing | \ˈbrē-diŋ \

Definition of breeding 

1 : the action or process of bearing or generating

2 : ancestry

3a archaic : education she had her breeding at my father's charge— William Shakespeare

b : training in or observance of the proprieties

4 : the sexual propagation of plants or animals

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web

Apparently, the humpback whales are now in the process of migrating north from the waters off of Mexico, their winter breeding territory. Saryn Chorney,, "WATCH: Thousands of Friendly Dolphins Guide and Play with Baby Humpback Whale," 5 June 2018 The odds are against a complete revival of the northern white rhino, according to Roth, who oversaw the first successful breeding of a captive Sumatran rhino in 2001. Ben Guarino, Washington Post, "‘Beautiful’ embryos created from near-extinct rhinoceros sperm," 4 July 2018 Our brief, but exciting journey following the breeding, nesting, hatching and fledging by a family of house wrens is about over. Ernie Cowan,, "Seven for Seven - all the wren eggs hatch," 19 May 2018 The breeding was carefully planned and recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan. David Caraccio, sacbee, "Meet the new snow leopard just born at Sacramento Zoo | The Sacramento Bee," 15 May 2018 Environmental factors, such as rainfall and temperature, also affect the breeding and biting habits of these many different species. Lena H. Sun,, "Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas more than tripled in the U.S.," 2 May 2018 Environmental factors, such as rainfall and temperature, also affect the breeding and biting habits of these many different species. Lena H. Sun,, "Diseases Spread By Ticks, Mosquitoes And Fleas Have More Than Tripled In The US," 1 May 2018 Though there are now legal methods of breeding and trading, arowana have still been sold for up to $300,000. Lilian Min, The Cut, "Even Giant Fish Can’t Ignore the Siren Song of Plastic Surgery," 28 Mar. 2018 The quota is set currently at 1.2 percent of the adult breeding population of lake sturgeon in Black Lake. Michigan Wildlife Council, Detroit Free Press, "Like a sturgeon: Fishing on Black Lake," 29 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breeding.' 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 breeding

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to breeding

breeding/mating season

Statistics for breeding

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breeding

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

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More Definitions for breeding



English Language Learners Definition of breeding

: the process by which young animals, birds, etc., are produced by their parents

: the activity of keeping and caring for animals or plants in order to produce more animals or plants of a particular kind

: the way a person was taught in childhood to behave : good manners that come from being raised correctly


breed·ing | \ˈbrē-diŋ\

Kids Definition of breeding

: training especially in manners

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Comments on breeding

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