selective breeding

noun

: the process of modifying the characteristics of living things especially to enhance one or more desirable traits by selection in breeding controlled by humans
After about three years of selective breeding, their company, Cavendish Game Birds, was able to deliver quail that consistently dressed out to seven or eight ounces. Warren Schultz
Selective breeding continues in an attempt to enhance the human use of this economic plant against a background of disappointingly low rubber content … John M. Miller and Ralph A. Backhaus
Fixed through selective breeding, traits could vanish over several generations if people became careless in choosing their dogs' mates. Mark Derr

called also artificial selection

Word History

First Known Use

1863, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of selective breeding was in 1863

Dictionary Entries Near selective breeding

Cite this Entry

“Selective breeding.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selective%20breeding. Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

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