in·​ter·​breed | \ ˌin-tər-ˈbrēd How to pronounce interbreed (audio) \
interbred\ ˌin-​tər-​ˈbred How to pronounce interbred (audio) \; 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 Their data indicated that a wave of modern humans left Africa for Europe about 200,000 years ago and interbred with Neanderthals, before migrating back to Africa. Emma Reynolds, CNN, "Mysterious 'ghost population' of ancient humans discovered," 13 Feb. 2020 An earlier version of this model had been designed to estimate how much modern humans and Neanderthals interbred. Quanta Magazine, "Genetics Spills Secrets From Neanderthals’ Lost History," 18 Sep. 2017 Federal wildlife authorities now support about 11,000 genetically pure bison with only the slightest traces of cattle interbreeding. Washington Post, "Time ticks away at wild bison genetic diversity," 3 Nov. 2019 But a third option is that the G came into the Denisovan population thanks to a completely separate human lineage that interbred with them. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Neanderthals may have interbred with a much older human lineage," 20 Feb. 2020 The two species interbred, with modern non-African human populations bearing residual Neanderthal DNA. NBC News, "Did Neanderthals bury their dead with flowers? Iraq cave yields new clues.," 19 Feb. 2020 Not so in Africans, the story goes, because modern humans and our extinct cousins interbred only outside of Africa. Michael Price, Science | AAAS, "Africans carry surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA," 30 Jan. 2020 These early wanderers likely interbred with Neanderthals more than 100,000 years ago, leaving their own genetic fingerprints in the Neanderthal genome. National Geographic, "You may have more Neanderthal DNA than you think," 30 Jan. 2020 Willerslev believes Yana’s inhabitants were likely replaced by, and interbred with, the paleo-Siberians who did eventually migrate into North America. Rafal Gerszak, Smithsonian, "It’s one of the greatest mysteries of our time. But archaeologists and even geneticists are closer than ever to understanding when humans made the first bold journey to the Americas," 19 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for interbreed

Time Traveler

The first known use of interbreed was in 1859

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Statistics for interbreed

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interbreed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for interbreed


How to pronounce interbreed (audio)

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 How to pronounce interbreed (audio) \
interbred\ -​ˈbred How to pronounce interbred (audio) \; 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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