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

Their narrow passageways, marked by ravaged, inbred and diseased inhabitants confoundingly disconnected from civilized prosperity mere hours away. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’; an animated deep dive into the artist’s mind," 15 Aug. 2019 That’s the headliner, on the festival’s main stage: Ibsen’s classic about a family and a society possessed (and literally sickened) by inbred amorality. Jesse Green, New York Times, "On Adjacent Stages, Two Haunted Houses, Circa 1882 and 2019," 12 Aug. 2019 Even if the goal is reached, Robinson said there will still be an inbred population, which could lead to a larger mortality rate. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "Captive-born Mexican gray wolf pups released to 'foster dens' in Arizona and New Mexico," 23 June 2019 The torments of politics are the fault of family life, with all its resentments and inborn (or inbred) rivalries, projected onto a political scale. Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, "Sam Shepard Saw It All Coming," 11 July 2019 All but nine survived to breed — a son bred with his mother, a daughter with her father, and the rest of the offspring with each other — producing a terrifically inbred lineage. Quanta Magazine, "Watching Evolution Happen in Two Lifetimes," 22 Sep. 2016 The key to this new result lies in the researchers’ assumption that Neanderthals had a much more diverse gene pool, but that it was divided into small, isolated, inbred groups of genetically similar individuals. Quanta Magazine, "Genetics Spills Secrets From Neanderthals’ Lost History," 18 Sep. 2017 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

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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Statistics for inbred

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for inbred

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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More from Merriam-Webster on inbred

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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