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
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

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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 The political opposition to climate science in some countries breeds nasty attacks on the scientists themselves. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Supreme Court allows climate scientist’s defamation case to proceed," 26 Nov. 2019 Each hunt club breeds its own hounds and never sells them, instead retiring them as pets. Stephanie Klein-davis, chicagotribune.com, "‘It’s about the chase’: Fox hunting season officially opens," 26 Nov. 2019 And repeatedly breeding the same captive animals together increases the chances of harmful genetic defects in the population. Katie Palmer, Quartz, "Sumatran rhinos are one step closer to total extinction," 24 Nov. 2019 Doing so only breeds further distrust that destroys collaborative police-community relations. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Let legislators weigh evidence; Voters need to take action to preserve Colorado’s culture; Body camera footage not subject to Rules of Professional Conduct (11/20/19)," 20 Nov. 2019 The report’s findings flip stereotypes of rural areas as breeding grounds for bias, said Logan Casey, author of the MAP report. Susan Miller, USA TODAY, "'We are not drag queens': For transgender people in 2019, a conflicted reality of breakthroughs, barriers," 19 Nov. 2019 Our experience bred deep respect for nurses and other medical professionals who make life better for patients and families like mine. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn M. Sullivan: Lessons I learned as an amateur caregiver," 10 Nov. 2019 Weak institutions and ethnic diversity bred strong leaders who, once elected, became entrenched. John J Stremlau, Quartz Africa, "The fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago still resonates across Africa," 8 Nov. 2019 While the success rate of each breeding season varies, life marches on—even in bad years. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Extreme Snowfall Prevented Arctic Species From Breeding Last Year," 16 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In some ways, this new breed for consumer finance is modern layaway for aspirational millennials. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "A risky third party financing business is emerging for acquisitive millennials," 26 Nov. 2019 The answer, Markham says, may lie in a new breed of computing chips called neuromorphic processors that are designed to operate more like the human brain. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Intel Gains First Big Corporate Partners for Brain Computing Push," 18 Nov. 2019 This creates opportunities for a new breed of populist who offers scapegoats and promises of protection. Time, "The American International Order Is Finished," 18 Nov. 2019 But the administrator behind @BallerBusters believes a new breed of scammer is running rampant on social media: the young business guru. Taylor Lorenz, New York Times, "On the Internet, No One Knows You’re Not Rich. Except This Account.," 12 Nov. 2019 Understanding this new breed of equipment in terms of its power consumption and efficiency is difficult. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "Green Buildings Are the New Thing, But What About Green Construction Sites?," 31 Oct. 2019 Tinseltown’s new breed of influential interior designers are more discreet, less dictatorial and all about creating chic spaces where the tastes of their industry-insider clients reign. Abigail Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, "Top 20 Interior Designers in Los Angeles," 24 Oct. 2019 This usage shows the potential for a new breed of fantasy RB that continually touches the rock. Mark Deming, SI.com, "Fantasy Football: Week 5 Target and Snap Report," 2 Oct. 2019 A week ago, investigators rescued the Chihuahuas and two other mixed breed dogs from one residence. Robert Higgs, cleveland, "84 emaciated Chihuahuas rescued from hoarder, stressing resources at Cleveland APL," 27 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for breed

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breeds. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for breed

breed

verb
How to pronounce breed (audio)

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
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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