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

His breeding rights reportedly have been sold to Coolmore for $75 million, although WinStar Farm president Elliott Walden has refuted that report. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Triple Crown winner Justify gets festive sendoff from Churchill Downs," 16 June 2018 Walden has maintained that a deal for Justify’s breeding rights has yet to be finalized. New York Times, "What’s Next for Justify? Maybe More Races, or Maybe Just the Breeding Shed," 12 June 2018 Florida has no reports of the non-native bird breeding in the wild. Erika Pesantes,, "Tiki the toucan took off. Is she feasting on your mangoes?," 12 June 2018 Coolmore also purchased breeding rights for 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah (for $10 million initially, though the deal was pushed to about $30 million with bonuses). Childs Walker,, "Justify expected to continue racing after Triple Crown triumph," 10 June 2018 By 2012, only four were spotted in the wild, and a last-ditch captive breeding program began in Daniels' lab in Gainesville. Jennifer Kay, Fox News, "Researchers help rare butterfly take flight in Florida Keys," 27 July 2018 The potato-breeding industry is a notoriously fickle and slow-moving one. Dugan Arnett,, "In northern Maine, a new spud rises," 12 June 2018 The economic impact of the deer breeding industry is $349.4 million annually in the state, according to a 2017 study by Texas A&M University. Andrea Zelinski, San Antonio Express-News, "A different kind of political contribution: South Texas candidate gets deer semen donations," 1 Mar. 2018 The economic impact of the deer breeding industry is $349.4 million annually in the state, according to a 2017 study by Texas A&M University. Andrea Zelinski, Houston Chronicle, "Deer semen donations among campaign contributions to South Texas candidate," 28 Feb. 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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Statistics for breeding

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for breeding

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

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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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