breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce breed (audio) \; 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 4a(1))
3 : class, kind a new breed of athlete such people are a dying breed

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 One way to meet the imminent end of Freedom-of-Choice here is the way Little Rock did—to fragment the city into zones that may breed hostility and instability. Arkansas Online, 18 Oct. 2020 Their feces contribute to water pollution, while the crowding of fish can breed bacteria and other diseases. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2022 Within these genebanks, researchers have already identified a gene in wild potatoes that could help breed modern varieties to withstand late blight, the world’s most damaging disease for potato crops. Claudia Sadoff, Fortune, 23 Dec. 2021 Scientists also worry that vaccine disparities will breed more dangerous strains that pose a risk to all nations. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 8 Dec. 2021 Since workers don't breed, natural selection is acting on them indirectly to improve the colony's health as a whole. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2021 Scientists worry that vaccine disparities and the continued spread of the virus will breed more dangerous strains that pose a risk to both rich nations and poor. James Paton, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Dec. 2021 Since covid-19 vaccines were first released, public health experts and scientists have warned that unless until the world was vaccinated, unprotected hot spots could breed dangerous new variants. Aurora Almendral, Quartz, 29 Nov. 2021 No water for migratory birds, who rest and breed at two diminished wildlife refuges along the Pacific Flyway. Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For her Halloween costume, Jalayne was dressed up as her best impression of Queen Elizabeth, complete with a matching blue coat and hat, wig, purse, pearls, and of course, her two corgis, which are also a favorite dog breed of the queen. Emily Deletter, The Enquirer, 5 Jan. 2022 Greene is a new breed of Republican Members of Congress. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 3 Jan. 2022 Manuals are a dying breed, but VW enthusiasts are a stubborn bunch, accounting for a majority of U.S. sales, despite the fact that the dual-clutch automatic outperforms them in virtually all metrics. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 2 Jan. 2022 Rabbits are a recent new breed of pet flown by VistaJet, and while dogs continue to make up the majority of animal passengers, the number of cats spiked 357% from 2019 to 2020. Debbi Kickham, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 There is a different breed of company out there, though. Declan Harty, Fortune, 10 Nov. 2021 Tennessee's Derrick Henry is a dying breed as a workhorse back who doesn't need to share the load with anyone. Josh Dubow, Chron, 22 Sep. 2021 The result, well over a year into the pandemic, is a new breed of dog that has grown accustomed to 24-hour companionship. Katie Weeman, Scientific American, 15 Sep. 2021 The miners and trappers who opened up the Yukon and the Denali country were a tougher breed. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Sep. 2021

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

noun derivative of breed entry 1

Learn More About breed

Time Traveler for breed

Time Traveler

The first known use of breed was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near breed

breech presentation

breed

breeder

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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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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 How to pronounce breed (audio) \
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 How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce breed (audio) \; 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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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