breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce bred (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 5b(1))
3 : class, kind a new breed of athlete such people are a dying breed

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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

Bacteria breed fast and evolve quickly, and over time many species will evolve a resistance to one antibiotic or another. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Found 'Superbugs' in Remote Arctic Wilderness," 29 Jan. 2019 During breeding and chick-rearing on land, when foraging opportunities are restricted, Fiordlands, like other penguins, can lose 50 percent of their body mass. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Penguins," 6 Nov. 2018 Originally the phrase was used only in those breeding grounds of empire, the public schools. New York Times, "Notes From the Book Review Archives," 18 May 2018 Fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales remain, including just over 100 breeding females. Sarah Kaplan, Washington Post, "These whales will be extinct in 25 years, scientists say — unless we act now to save them," 20 Apr. 2018 Fewer than 450 North Atlantic right whales remain, including just over 100 breeding females. Sarah Kaplan, BostonGlobe.com, "N. Atlantic right whales will be extinct in 25 years, scientists say - unless we act now to save them," 20 Apr. 2018 The tire drive will serve as a mitigation project to help reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes that may carry diseases such as Zika, Chikungunya, and West Nile, which can be transmitted to people. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "No cost tire recycling offered to Fort Bend County residents in effort to reduce mosquitoes," 4 Apr. 2018 Fast-breeding pests that are tolerant of pollutants, like flies and cockroaches, will likely fill the vacancies left behind and continue to thrive due to warmer global temperatures and the disappearance of their slow-to-breed predators. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "The Staggering Worldwide Decline of Insects Is a Warning of Ecosystem Collapse," 13 Feb. 2019 This restoration approach means finding the strongest individuals and breeding them, but also training them to get used to certain stressors or strengthening the supportive microbes, like algae, living in their tissues. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "This Coral Must Die," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This will be a bull that will stay in the Angus breed for a long time. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Ranchers pay record $800,000 for ‘landmark’ Angus bull | The Kansas City Star," 17 Feb. 2018 New York real estate developers of a certain age and status tend to come in two distinct breeds. Vicky Ward, Town & Country, "Stephen Ross Is Building New York City's Next Must-See Destination," 16 Feb. 2018 After being picked late Tuesday night over nearly 2,900 other dogs in 202 breeds and varieties, Flynn was up early and on the go with McFadden. baltimoresun.com, "Truly best in show: Westminster winner makes Broadway debut," 15 Feb. 2018 The 142nd Westminster event drew 2,882 entries in 202 breeds and varieties. CBS News, "Flynn the bichon frise wins best in show at Westminster," 14 Feb. 2018 Nvidia’s end market exposure remains best in breed. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Here's Why Nvidia's Stock Is Booming—Again," 9 Feb. 2018 But whereas Wegman's famous Weimaraners became his singular muses, appearing over and over again in various guises, Usborne's eyes find the humanity in all breeds. Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "Art Daybook: Photographer has a crush for canines," 7 Feb. 2018 The sporting, working and terrier groups will be judged Tuesday before the top dog among the more than 2,800 entries in 203 breeds and varieties is chosen. Ben Walker, The Seattle Times, "Dachshunds get chance to break out of Westminster doghouse," 12 Feb. 2019 For a 45-minute snowy hike with a pair of them (weekends only), visit the Barryland museum, dedicated to the breed (barryland.ch). Nina Sovich, WSJ, "Europe in Winter: 35 Reasons to Visit Off-Season," 21 Nov. 2018

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 and Noun

Middle English breden, from Old English brēdan; akin to Old English brōd brood

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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breed

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

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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 bred (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

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More from Merriam-Webster on breed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breed

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breed

Spanish Central: Translation of breed

Nglish: Translation of breed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about breed

Comments on breed

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