breed·​ing | \ ˈbrē-diŋ How to pronounce breeding (audio) \

Definition of breeding

1 : the action or process of bearing or generating
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 It’s estimated that about 60 percent of methane emissions come from human activities, such as from landfills, cattle breeding and certain types of agriculture, while the other 40 percent comes from natural sources. Denise Chow, NBC News, "Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere reaches record high, researchers say," 25 Nov. 2019 So finding a breeding colony of the animals is a big deal. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Researchers Discover Secret Breeding Ground of World’s Most Endangered Crocodile," 22 Nov. 2019 Kimba came to the zoo in 2008 from the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, on a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP). Segann March,, "Cincinnati Zoo 'devastated' by loss of Kimba the giraffe," 17 Nov. 2019 Anonymous: Are there specific plant breeding applications for which prime editing is more promising than other genome editing approaches? Sharon Begley, STAT, "You had questions for David Liu about CRISPR, prime editing, and advice to young scientists. He has answers," 6 Nov. 2019 Captive breeding was proving unable to offset the decline in the wild Japanese glass eel population. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 28 Oct. 2019 Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels and other containers. Leada Gore |, al, "Mosquito-borne virus kills 1 in Alabama: What to know about EEE," 28 Oct. 2019 But foods made with the newer gene-editing technique wouldn't necessarily be subject to the regulation, since companies say the resulting plants and animals could theoretically be produced with conventional breeding. CBS News, "Restaurants could be first to get genetically modified salmon," 21 June 2019 The scientists hypothesize that humans have unconsciously favored eyebrow-raising dogs during fairly recent selective breeding. James Gorman, New York Times, "Those Puppy Dog Eyes You Can’t Resist? Thank Evolution," 17 June 2019

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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Time Traveler for breeding

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for breeding

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Breeding.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for breeding


How to pronounce breeding (audio)

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
somewhat old-fashioned : 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

What made you want to look up breeding? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period of high artistic development

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