selective breeding


Definition of selective breeding

: 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

First Known Use of selective breeding

1863, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of selective breeding was in 1863

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Cite this Entry

“Selective breeding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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