in·​breed·​ing | \ ˈin-ˈbrē-diŋ How to pronounce inbreeding (audio) \

Definition of inbreeding

1 : the interbreeding of closely related individuals especially to preserve and fix desirable characters of and to eliminate unfavorable characters from a stock
2 : confinement to a narrow range or a local or limited field of choice

Examples of inbreeding in a Sentence

genetic defects caused by inbreeding
Recent Examples on the Web The first picks had died, and all the familial inbreeding made the next choice complex. Nick Romano,, 13 July 2022 This arrangement can lead to inbreeding, but female dwarf mongooses have found a simple yet clever way around this problem: look for mates in nearby groups. Lee Alan Dugatkin, Scientific American, 15 Apr. 2022 Catalburun Possibly because of severe inbreeding due to their rarity, the Catalburun is one of the only dogs in the world featuring a split nose and suspended ears. The Editors, Outside Online, 23 Oct. 2012 The vaquita porpoise has become more resilient to inbreeding and can avoid harmful genetic mutations, as a result of living in relatively small population sizes, according to the study. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 10 May 2022 Though experts have long theorized that the ancient Egyptians bred ibises at large-scale hatcheries, the 2019 DNA study refuted this idea, showing no signs of long-term inbreeding associated with domestication. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 May 2022 With such a small population left, researchers focused on conservation efforts have questioned if vaquitas were at a greater risk of extinction due to inbreeding. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 7 May 2022 Turns out both families are prone to such fits as the result of inbreeding. Andy Hoglund,, 8 May 2022 Despite the inbreeding, however, there was little in the way of genetic variants that are exclusive to a single breed. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of inbreeding

circa 1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for inbreeding

Time Traveler

The first known use of inbreeding was circa 1842

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Statistics for inbreeding

Last Updated

28 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inbreeding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for inbreeding


in·​breed·​ing | \ ˈin-ˈbrēd-iŋ How to pronounce inbreeding (audio) \

Medical Definition of inbreeding

: the interbreeding of closely related individuals especially to preserve and fix desirable characters of and to eliminate unfavorable characters from a stock — compare linebreeding, outbreeding

More from Merriam-Webster on inbreeding

Nglish: Translation of inbreeding for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about inbreeding


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