ped·​i·​gree | \ ˈpe-də-ˌgrē How to pronounce pedigree (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pedigreed (audio) \ 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

Venice is back on top among the world's most prestigious film festivals — on par with Cannes, and with an impressive awards-season pedigree. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, ""Completely Tone Deaf": How Venice Became the F-You Film Festival," 23 Aug. 2019 Despite her pedigree and preparations, a medal wasn’t in the cards for her final evening of diving in Lima. Ryan Gregory, Indianapolis Star, "Indy diver Sarah Bacon hopes to carry Pan American Games momentum into 2020 Olympic Trials," 7 Aug. 2019 But despite this pedigree, don't expect to hear this show's name when the 2019 Emmy Awards are announced Tuesday. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "Don't be surprised when 'Big Little Lies' isn't nominated for any Emmys this year," 15 July 2019 Despite his pedigree as the son of longtime NBA guard Dell Curry, there were questions — about size, durability, position. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, "Drafting Stephen Curry," 25 June 2019 The premiere episode ends with the 1973 Rome kidnapping of 16-year-old J. Paul III, who, despite his pedigree as an oil scion, lacked enough cash to pay off gambling and drug debts. Gary Levin, USA TODAY, "FX puts 'Trust' in miniseries about Getty family drama," 5 Jan. 2018 Tucker brings with him to Boulder an NFL and SEC pedigree, a physical-minded, defensive guy who’s implementing his own version of the Saban method in the mountains. Ross Dellenger,, "Pac-12 2019 Fall Camp Preview: Five Key Storylines for August," 30 July 2019 From sweet and savory treats to gift (or keep) and booze with a Viking pedigree, to lotions, lip balms and even insect repellent, the bounty of the bees is nearly limitless. Gemma Tarlach, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bounty of the bees extends far beyond honey for your tea - to lotions, balms and even drinks," 16 July 2019 That approach has a lengthy, embarrassing pedigree. Steve Chapman,, "Trump's new ban on Cuba travel continues our bad neighbor policy in Latin America," 5 June 2019

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

27 Aug 2019

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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 How to pronounce pedigree (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pedigree (audio) \

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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