noun (1)
land·​race | \ ˈlan(d)-ˌrās How to pronounce landrace (audio) \
plural landraces

Definition of landrace

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a local variety of a species of plant or animal that has distinctive characteristics arising from development and adaptation over time to conditions of a localized geographic region and that typically displays greater genetic diversity than types subjected to formal breeding practices A small number of popular, high-yielding crop varieties bred by these companies have increasingly edged out landraces, the varieties adapted to localized conditions during millennia of farming.— Janet Raloff By the 1900s most indigenous, colored cotton landraces, or cultivars, grown in Africa, Asia and Central and South America were replaced by all-white, commercial varieties.— James M. Vreeland, Jr. Unlike pedigreed breeds, dogs described as a landrace are a loose population of canines with greater variation in appearance and temperament. They are physically adapted to a specific environment and often selected for working ability.— Kim Thornton


noun (2)
Land·​ra·​ce | \ ˈlän(d)-ˌrä-sə How to pronounce Landrace (audio) \
plural Landraces

Definition of Landrace (Entry 2 of 2)

: a usually white, long-bodied pig of any of several breeds having large, drooping ears and developed from stock of the original Danish breed derived from a localized population of free-breeding swine native to Denmark Although [Emma] Wischmeier said she tends to have a special bond with the cows she has raised, first-year exhibitor Sam Williams can't say the same about the 312-pound American Landrace pig he has been caring for since March.— Mark Webber

First Known Use of landrace

Noun (1)

1939, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for landrace

Noun (1)

probably partly from Landrace, partly as translation of German Landrasse or Dutch landras

Noun (2)

borrowed from Danish, from land "country" (going back to Old Danish, going back to Germanic *landa-) + race "breed, race," borrowed from French — more at land entry 1, race entry 1

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Time Traveler for landrace

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The first known use of landrace was in 1908

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Dictionary Entries Near landrace

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Cite this Entry

“Landrace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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