in·​ter·​breed | \ ˌin-tər-ˈbrēd \
interbred\ ˌin-​tər-​ˈbred \; interbreeding

Definition of interbreed

intransitive verb

: to breed together: such as
b : to breed within a closed population

transitive verb

: to cause to breed together

Examples of interbreed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The best explanation is that Denisovans and humans interbred twice in our history, not just once, and that the Denisovans had already split into distinct populations. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Modern humans interbred with Denisovans more than once," 15 Mar. 2018 What once seemed like a neat and tidy story of one human relative flowing into the next is shaping up to be the story of multiple migrations, several relatives, and cross-species interbreeding. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Fossil Holds an Ancient Secret About Humanity," 22 Aug. 2018 Scientists have long documented that hatchery fish compete for space and food with wild salmon and can interbreed with them, weakening their genetics. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Will we now commit to saving the Northwest’s orcas? A task force meets Tuesday," 7 Aug. 2018 Perri tells Wei-Haas that the scientists expected to find evidence of interbreeding between the pre-contact pups and the new arrivals. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "European Dogs Devastated Indigenous American Pup Populations," 6 July 2018 After a century of interbreeding, California's wild hogs now share features from both varieties of pigs. Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Wild pigs cause millions in damages in California. But hunting them could become easier," 25 June 2018 In return, the aliens want to interbreed with humans to create a hybrid species. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Octavia E. Butler, Who Brought Diversity to the World of Science Fiction, Honored With Google Doodle," 22 June 2018 Each branch, the new study suggests, interbred with the ancestors of living humans. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "David Reich Unearths Human History Etched in Bone," 20 Mar. 2018 In its place, new waves of migration and conquest, interbreeding and replacement, swept westward across the steppe. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Tracing how horse domestication turned the Eurasian Steppe into a highway," 11 May 2018

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

1859, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for interbreed

The first known use of interbreed was in 1859

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English Language Learners Definition of interbreed

: to cause animals of two different species to produce young animals that are a mixture of the two species


in·​ter·​breed | \ ˌint-ər-ˈbrēd \
interbred\ -​ˈbred \; interbreeding

Medical Definition of interbreed

intransitive verb

: to breed together: as
b : to breed within a closed population

transitive verb

: to cause to breed together

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More from Merriam-Webster on interbreed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with interbreed

Spanish Central: Translation of interbreed

Nglish: Translation of interbreed for Spanish Speakers

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