thor·ough·bred | \ˈthər-ə-ˌbred, ˈthə-rə-\

Definition of thoroughbred 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : bred from the best blood through a long line : purebred thoroughbred dogs

2a capitalized : of, relating to, or being a Thoroughbred horse

b : having characteristics resembling those of a Thoroughbred

3 : thoroughly trained or skilled a thoroughbred soldier



Definition of thoroughbred (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a purebred or pedigreed animal

2 capitalized : any of an English breed of light speedy horses kept chiefly for racing that originated from crosses between English mares of uncertain ancestry and Arabian stallions

3 : a thoroughly educated or skilled person

Illustration of thoroughbred

Illustration of thoroughbred



In the meaning defined above

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Synonyms & Antonyms for thoroughbred

Synonyms: Adjective

blooded, full-blood, full-blooded, pedigreed (or pedigree), pure-blooded (or pure-blood), purebred

Antonyms: Adjective

hybrid, mixed, mongrel

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Examples of thoroughbred in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In 2015, Baffert, jockey Victor Espinoza and American Pharoah captured the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 2015 to win thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. Andrew J. Campa,, "Justify, Baffert aim for greatness," 7 June 2018 Rob Gronkowski the human being will finally get to see Gronkowski the thoroughbred race this Saturday at the Belmont Stakes. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Rob Gronkowski on Gronkowski the horse: Maybe he has 'extra powers' for Belmont Stakes," 6 June 2018 In the winter of 2002, thoroughbred horse trainer Bob Baffert was entrusted by big-spending owner Satish Sanan with the care and racing career of a very promising two-year-old colt named Vindication. Tim Layden,, "Trainer Bob Baffert, Justify Jockey Mike Smith Relish a Remarkable Ride Before Belmont Stakes," 6 June 2018 Saratoga Springs is famed for thoroughbred racing and home to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. William D’urso, Outside Online, "The Best Way to See the U.S. Is by Train," 1 July 2018 Justify returned to Louisville on Monday after winning the Belmont Stakes to become thoroughbred racing’s 13th Triple Crown winner. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Justify parade highlights Stephen Foster Night at Churchill Downs," 15 June 2018 Image On the morning after his coronation as thoroughbred racing’s 13th Triple Crown champion, Justify took a little victory lap outside his barn at Belmont Park. New York Times, "What’s Next for Justify? Maybe More Races, or Maybe Just the Breeding Shed," 12 June 2018 After racing, many thoroughbred horses retire to a life of breeding. Nihal Kolur,, "What are the Highest Stud Fees for Horses?," 9 June 2018 Breeding the next generation of thoroughbred champions is the cash-converting game. Rob Hodgetts, CNN, "The Derby: Saxon Warrior set for '£50M payday' for Epsom Classic win," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Blowen uses high school analogies to describe the differences in two of the most successful thoroughbreds of all time. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Triple Crown close calls Silver Charm and War Emblem now live together," 29 May 2018 The decision to withhold Justify from competition as a 2-year-old, skipping the traditional finishing school for thoroughbreds from whom much is expected, wasn't a decision at all, as Baffert explained. Liz Clarke,, "Justify's path to cusp of Triple Crown is unusual. But so is training a 1,380-pound athlete.," 7 June 2018 Brown found that Sirhan was recruited by the operator of a private ranch for thoroughbreds to ride horses there, even though Sirhan had little experience riding. Tom Jackman, Washington Post, "The assassination of Bobby Kennedy: Was Sirhan Sirhan hypnotized to be the fall guy?," 4 June 2018 And so, Justify became the 13th thoroughbred to win the Triple Crown and Smith just the 12th person to ride the same horse across the finish line first in each of horse racing's three most important events. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Mike Smith showed value of age, experience in Justify's Triple Crown," 15 June 2018 Justify has a chance to join 1977’s Seattle Slew as the only undefeated Triple Crown winner, and /become/ just the 13th thoroughbred in 100 years to pull off the feat at all. Phil Rosenthal,, "With much to Justify at Belmont, NBC's Mike Tirico says, 'We're a big-event country'," 7 June 2018 When Lukas switched to thoroughbreds, Baffert stayed in quarter horses but eventually got talked into trying the more prestigious form of racing. John Cherwa,, "Preakness' training titans Bob Baffert and Wayne Lukas might have made a super team," 16 May 2018 Justify, the Derby's heavy favorite, made history as the first time a three-year old thoroughbred who did not race at age two has won since 1882. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Hannah McNair's powerful, four-minute testimony triumphs Kentucky Derby watch-party," 7 May 2018 Smith said experience — both the nearly 5,500 career wins and many more losses — taught him to communicate with thoroughbreds without saying a word. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Mike Smith showed value of age, experience in Justify's Triple Crown," 15 June 2018

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


1701, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for thoroughbred

The first known use of thoroughbred was in 1701

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More Definitions for thoroughbred



English Language Learners Definition of thoroughbred

: an animal (especially a horse) whose parents are from the same breed

Thoroughbred : a type of fast horse used mainly for racing


thor·ough·bred | \ˈthər-ō-ˌbred \

Kids Definition of thoroughbred

 (Entry 1 of 2)



Kids Definition of thoroughbred (Entry 2 of 2)

1 capitalized : a speedy horse of an English breed kept mainly for racing

2 : a purebred animal

3 : a very educated or skilled person

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