ped·​i·​gree | \ˈpe-də-ˌgrē \

Definition of pedigree 

1 : a register recording a line of ancestors The pedigree traces the family back to the 18th century.

2a : an ancestral line : lineage That horse has an impressive pedigree.

b : the origin and the history of something Democracy's pedigree stretches back to ancient Greece. broadly : background, history

3a : a distinguished ancestry actions spoke louder than pedigrees in the trenches— Dixon Wecter

b : the recorded purity of breed of an individual or strain vouch for a horse's pedigree

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Other Words from pedigree

pedigreed \ ˈpe-​də-​ˌgrēd \ or pedigree adjective

Examples of pedigree in a Sentence

That horse has an impressive pedigree. What is the dog's pedigree? The puppy came with papers proving its pedigree. Democracy is an idea with a pedigree stretching back to ancient Greece. The company has an excellent pedigree with over a century in the business.
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Recent Examples on the Web

That pedigree is strongly represented in the game's form—in fact, Ford and Reiche even had the assistance of Starflight alum Greg Johnson in fleshing out aspects of SC2's design and dialog. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "Video: How Star Control II was almost a much more boring game," 23 Oct. 2018 The Alden There's been a ton of buzz about The Alden, which opened in April 2018 in Chamblee, thanks in no small part to chef and owner Jared Hucks' impressive pedigree. Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Brunch Places in Atlanta," 21 Aug. 2018 Audeze’s LCD2 Classic cans are exactly the sort of product that could exist merely to cash in on a famous name and pedigree. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Audeze LCD2 Classic review: these cans will turn you into an audiophile," 3 Aug. 2018 Our study found that the academic credentials of most of the Under 30 education award recipients were in computer science, economics, political science, engineering, and business, with the overwhelming majority possessing Ivy League pedigrees. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Who wins the annual Forbes’ “30 Under 30” education awards? New study details telling links between judges and winners," 3 July 2018 The soccer fans wandered out of the pub in the early afternoon, wondering if their basketball team’s championship pedigree would surface a few hours later. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Championship Saturday: Real Madrid comes through, can the Warriors?," 26 May 2018 At one point, Barkley went as far as to question Shaq’s championship pedigree. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Charles Barkley and Shaq made up after their heated on-air argument," 10 May 2018 Despite his consistently conservative pedigree, Kavanaugh's nomination could also run afoul of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, which has opposed government surveillance programs. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court Could Spell Trouble for Tech," 10 July 2018 Despite their rich and well-connected pedigree, the mother and daughter pair were almost completely isolated from the outside world and, surprisingly, were living in abject squalor., "Why Fashion People Love Cult Film Grey Gardens," 3 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pedigree

Middle English pedegru, from Anglo-French pé de grue, literally, crane's foot; from the shape made by the lines of a genealogical chart

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Statistics for pedigree

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pedigree

The first known use of pedigree was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for pedigree



English Language Learners Definition of pedigree

: the history of the family members in a person's or animal's past especially when it is good or impressive

: the origin and history of something especially when it is good or impressive


ped·​i·​gree | \ˈpe-də-ˌgrē \

Kids Definition of pedigree

1 : a table or list showing the line of ancestors of a person or animal

2 : a line of ancestors


ped·​i·​gree | \ˈped-ə-ˌgrē \

Medical Definition of pedigree 

: a record of the ancestry of an individual the pedigree of a diabetic patient

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Comments on pedigree

What made you want to look up pedigree? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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