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


They have an inbred love of freedom. an inbred desire to do good in the world

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Perhaps more important, the first generation of pups born to immigrant fathers was more evolutionarily fit than inbred pups: The former were almost twice as likely to survive their first year of life, and had higher breeding success. Steph Yin, New York Times, "Arctic Foxes on a Swedish Mountain Turned ‘Blue.’ It Was a Good Thing.," 28 Mar. 2018 Red wolves are already highly inbred and their genetic diversity is on par with a population raised from just five animals (though the actual founding population was 14 animals). Robbie George, National Geographic, "Rule to Allow Hunting Could Doom Rare Red Wolves," 29 June 2018 The authors also found evidence that koalas in the north have more genetic diversity than those in the south, which are largely inbred. Deborah Netburn,, "The koalas are threatened. Can their genome help us save them?," 2 July 2018 That bleak stretch remains a testament to the stubborn nature of Downeasters and their inbred ability to endure harsh conditions without complaint. Bob Ford,, "Brett Brown gets to really call the shots for the Sixers | Bob Ford," 18 June 2018 Among those instincts could be warm feelings about strongmen and an inbred hunch that allies are actually taking advantage of America. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Does it matter if Trump has a North Korea strategy?," 14 June 2018 Because captive birds tend to be slightly inbred, certain versions of a gene become predominant and can serve as a kind of fingerprint for captivity. National Geographic, "This Popular Parrot 'Talks' Like Us. But We're Silencing It.," 21 May 2018 Two wolves, half-siblings and father and daughter — an inbred, genetic tangle that probably should have contributed to their demise long ago. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Isle Royale's 2 remaining wolves still alive, spotted this winter," 17 May 2018 Over just a few generations, the blue agave gene pool has become dangerously inbred, Cuellar warns, and such a monoculture is easy prey for a disease that could devastate the industry. Max Falkowitz, GQ, "How to Buy Better Tequila That Won’t Give You Bad College Flashbacks," 3 May 2018

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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The first known use of inbred was circa 1592

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inbred

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inbred

Spanish Central: Translation of inbred

Nglish: Translation of inbred for Spanish Speakers

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