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>
pedigreedplay \-ˌgrēd\ or
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.
Did You Know?
What does someone's ancestry have to do with feet? Because someone once thought that a family tree, or genealogical chart, resembled a crane's foot (in French, pied de grue), even though cranes' feet only have four talons or claws, no more than any other bird, while a family tree may have hundreds of branches. The word pedigree is usually used for purebred animals--cats, racehorses, and dogs, as well as livestock such as cows and sheep. Some people continue to believe that "purity" in human family trees is a good thing as well, though most of us find the idea a little creepy.
Origin and Etymology of 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
First Known Use: 15th century
PEDIGREE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pedigree for English Language Learners
: 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
PEDIGREE Defined for Kids
Definition of pedigree for Students
1 : a table or list showing the line of ancestors of a person or animal
2 : a line of ancestors
Medical Definition of pedigree
: a record of the ancestry of an individual <the pedigree of a diabetic patient>
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Seen and Heard
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