inbreed

verb
in·​breed | \ ˈin-ˈbrēd How to pronounce inbreed (audio) \
inbred\ ˈin-​ˈbred How to pronounce inbreed (audio) \; inbreeding

Definition of inbreed

transitive verb

: to subject to inbreeding

intransitive verb

: to engage in inbreeding

Examples of inbreed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Southern white rhinos are threatened by inbreeding. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 30 Mar. 2020 Soon, almost everyone in that population may become related to the newcomers, actually speeding up inbreeding. Ashley Braun, Longreads, "Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves," 24 Oct. 2019 Self-fertilization, like inbreeding in animals, should pair up harmful recessive mutations, so Schwoch expected the crosses that used pollen from one stem on flowers from another to do better. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Meet the monkeyflower, a weed that may hold the key to zebra stripes and other biological mysteries," 29 Aug. 2019 Many scientists believe mating types evolved early in life’s history as a barrier against behaviors like inbreeding that might be harmful to a population or species. Quanta Magazine, "Why Nature Prefers Couples, Even for Yeast," 17 July 2018 And as their faces got smaller, our ancestors became more social; groups of Neanderthals and other ancient humans seem to have inbred frequently, but among modern humans, there was much more contact between different groups. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Expressive Eyebrows May Have Given Modern Humans an Evolutionary Edge," 10 Apr. 2018 For cancer research, this meant a stable breeding strain by which to study the biological and genetic nature of cancer in mice inbred with cancerous tumors—a realization that has defined mouse model research to this day. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The History of Breeding Mice for Science Begins With a Woman in a Barn," 20 Mar. 2018 Decimated by inbreeding, the spotted wildcat’s future depends very much on mingling with its Mexican cousins. Jeremy Schwartz, ajc, "Trump's border wall threatens endangered Texas ocelot," 31 Mar. 2018 There is evidence that when breeders select for white lions—a practice that almost always necessitates inbreeding—the animals will eventually start to show defects. National Geographic, "Rare White Lion Cub Seen in South Africa," 27 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inbreed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of inbreed

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inbreed

Time Traveler for inbreed

Time Traveler

The first known use of inbreed was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Statistics for inbreed

Cite this Entry

“Inbreed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inbreed. Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inbreed

inbreed

verb
in·​breed | \ ˈin-ˈbrēd How to pronounce inbreed (audio) \
inbred\ -​ˈbred \; inbreeding

Kids Definition of inbreed

: to breed with closely related individuals

inbreed

verb
in·​breed | \ ˈin-ˈbrēd How to pronounce inbreed (audio) \
inbred\ -​ˈbred How to pronounce inbreed (audio) \; inbreeding

Medical Definition of inbreed

transitive verb

: to subject to inbreeding

intransitive verb

: to engage in inbreeding

More from Merriam-Webster on inbreed

Nglish: Translation of inbreed for Spanish Speakers

Comments on inbreed

What made you want to look up inbreed? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!