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noun (1)

land·​race ˈlan(d)-ˌrās How to pronounce landrace (audio)
plural landraces
: 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


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noun (2)

Land·​ra·​ce ˈlän(d)-ˌrä-sə How to pronounce Landrace (audio)
plural Landraces
: 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

Examples of landrace in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Meanwhile, Joseph Lofthouse—a Mormon who took a vow of poverty to become a farmer—expounded on the benefits of landrace gardening, a form of plant breeding and cross-pollinating that any amateur gardener can try their hand at. Liam Hess, Vogue, 24 Oct. 2023 Beyond that, Madan wants to recover native cannabis strains, or landraces, from all seventy-seven of Nepal’s rugged districts, unlocking his own beyul twenty years after his father’s violent death. Sean Williams, Harper's Magazine, 11 Sep. 2023 Even the tortillas used at Hunger Street Tacos are made in-house with landrace corn imported from Mexico. Amy Drew Thompson, Orlando Sentinel, 18 May 2022 And on the beer side Not surprisingly, the beer produced through The Grain Shed shares the same vision of showcasing those landrace grains. Leslie Kelly, Forbes, 25 Sep. 2021 The mill provides the farmers with seeds for the heirloom, heritage, and landrace grains that impart distinctive flavors to the mill’s products. Dallas News, 2 Nov. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'landrace.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1939, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1908, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of landrace was in 1908

Dictionary Entries Near landrace

Cite this Entry

“Landrace.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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