in·​bred | \ ˈin-ˈbred How to pronounce inbred (audio) \

Definition of inbred

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : rooted and ingrained in one's nature as deeply as if implanted by heredity an inbred love of freedom
2 [from past participle of inbreed] : subjected to or produced by inbreeding


in·​bred | \ ˈin-ˌbred How to pronounce inbred (audio) \
plural inbreds

Definition of inbred (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant or animal produced by inbreeding It is recommended that only superior horses be used in the practice of inbreeding because inbreds from the same stock will produce an inferior strain if carried on over a prolonged period.— Philip A. Pines The result, he thought, of mating two single crosses would combine the outstanding characteristic of four inbreds rather than two and would take advantage of the high yield of the single-cross seed parent.— William L. Brown

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Choose the Right Synonym for inbred


innate, inborn, inbred, congenital, hereditary mean not acquired after birth. innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature. an innate sense of fair play inborn suggests a quality or tendency either actually present at birth or so marked and deep-seated as to seem so. her inborn love of nature inbred suggests something either acquired from parents by heredity or so deeply rooted and ingrained as to seem acquired in that way. inbred political loyalties congenital and hereditary refer to what is acquired before or at birth, the former to things acquired during fetal development and the latter to things transmitted from one's ancestors. a congenital heart murmur eye color is hereditary

Examples of inbred in a Sentence

Adjective They have an inbred love of freedom. an inbred desire to do good in the world
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The highland wild dogs had a 70% genetic overlap with the captive population, Ostrander said, with the difference likely containing some of the original diversity now missing in the inbred population -- a breed largely created by people. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Rare 'singing' dog, thought to be extinct in wild for 50 years, still thrives," 31 Aug. 2020 Combined with male deaths caused by fishing activities near the shore, there might not be enough males to keep the species from becoming inbred, Schofield says. Tara Santora, Scientific American, "Should Ecologists Treat Male and Female Animals like ‘Different Species’?," 2 June 2020 Thanks to conservation efforts, the population has expanded nearly threefold since the 1990s, but the population is highly inbred, with a low level of genetic diversity. National Geographic, "See the Full Archive," 5 May 2020 Last week, officials blamed the deaths of the 86 temple tigers on the fact that many were inbred and that some were ill when they were seized in mid-2016. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "Thailand Shuttered a Notorious Tiger Zoo, but the Problem Has Only Gotten Worse," 23 Sep. 2019 Three inbred cannibals terrorize a medical student and five campers in a remote area of West Virginia. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV for Oct. 6-12: ‘Throne of Blood’ and more," 4 Oct. 2019 Maxillofacial surgeons scored the jaw deformations of inbred Hapsburgs, and a test of 6,300 participants in eighty-five countries found that women are likelier than men to accurately read feline facial expressions. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 20 Jan. 2020 The wild night of costumes, drinking and partying turns into a bloodbath when an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals target several college students for dinner. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV for Oct. 6-12: ‘Throne of Blood’ and more," 4 Oct. 2019 In Southern California, for example, freeways have divided the region’s mountain lions into small, inbred populations. Los Angeles Times, "Small strips of nature in just the right places can keep plants from going extinct," 27 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inbred.' 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 inbred


circa 1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1882, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for inbred

Time Traveler

The first known use of inbred was circa 1592

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Statistics for inbred

Last Updated

11 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inbred.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for inbred


How to pronounce inbred (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inbred

: existing as a basic part of a person's nature or character
: born from or produced by animals, plants, or people that are closely related : produced by inbreeding


in·​bred | \ ˈin-ˈbred How to pronounce inbred (audio) \

Medical Definition of inbred

: subjected to or produced by inbreeding

More from Merriam-Webster on inbred

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inbred

Nglish: Translation of inbred for Spanish Speakers

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