thor·​ough·​bred | \ ˈthər-ə-ˌbred How to pronounce thoroughbred (audio) , 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

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of thoroughbred in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That event was Preakness Stakes, one of the legs of thoroughbred racing’s triple crown. Washington Post, "An eventful day of spectacular weather," 4 Oct. 2020 Today, the two frat brothers are estranged, occupying opposite sides of a contentious many-million-dollar battle for the future of Kentucky thoroughbred racing. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "After shutout loss in Supreme Court, racing commission accused of 'lax oversight'," 2 Oct. 2020 The narrative fates have been unkind to Maryland’s 3-year-old thoroughbred showcase over the last two years; in 2019, Country House skipped the second leg of the Triple Crown after his controversial win by disqualification in the Derby. Childs Walker,, "Preakness storylines: Can Derby champ Authentic assert himself as nation’s top 3-year-old?," 26 Sep. 2020 These two add the engine and legs of a thoroughbred sports sedan to the sport-utility, resulting in SUVs with not just room and girth but also abilities in the twisties and the vast open road on the order of a top sports sedan. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "Turn up the sport, turn down the utility: The 2020 BMW X5 M and X6 M," 20 Sep. 2020 The Illinois Racing Board approved 68 days of thoroughbred horse racing at Arlington International Racecourse next year, despite concerns the track’s owner, Churchill Downs, may pull up stakes. Robert Channick,, "Illinois racing board grants 2021 race dates to Arlington International despite uncertainty over track’s future," 16 Sep. 2020 Baffert’s thoroughbred Authentic won last week’s Kentucky Derby. Katherine Doherty,, "American Pharoah’s Owner Files For Personal Bankruptcy," 9 Sep. 2020 Churchill Downs developed its plan for the Derby, part of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, after consulting multiple experts about the event that typically draws 150,000 or more, President Kevin Flanery said in a statement. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby 2020: Why health experts say they agree with Churchill Down's decision," 21 Aug. 2020 The 27th edition of the festival includes six thoroughbred stakes worth $100,000 each. Star Tribune, "About the Minnesota Festival of Champions at Canterbury Park," 8 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The thoroughbred was unbeaten in 2020, with big wins at both the Travers and Belmont Stakes, but finished second Saturday. Analis Bailey, USA TODAY, "Authentic wins the 146th Kentucky Derby ahead of favorite Tiz the Law," 6 Sep. 2020 The thoroughbred was unbeaten in 2020, with big wins at both the Travers and Belmont Stakes, but finished second Saturday. Analis Bailey, The Arizona Republic, "Authentic wins the 146th Kentucky Derby ahead of favorite Tiz the Law," 6 Sep. 2020 His great-grandfather, Will Harbut, cared for Man o' War, an American thoroughbred considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Activists want an African American horse owner to boycott the Kentucky Derby. Here's why he won't do it," 5 Sep. 2020 Harlan’s Holiday’s offspring includes Denis of Cork, a bay thoroughbred who finished third in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and second in the 2008 Breeders' Cup. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, son of Into Mischief, has winning deep in bloodline," 5 Sep. 2020 Four months is a lifetime for a 3-year-old thoroughbred. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "10 days until the 146th Kentucky Derby. Here's what's going on behind the scenes," 27 Aug. 2020 Her husband Gary explained the mix of relief and pride about one of the most unique roads a thoroughbred ever has traveled. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Maximum Security romps in no-doubter at Del Mar’s Pacific Classic," 22 Aug. 2020 Hank traveled with the team for parts of the 1985 and 1986 seasons, learning under Lou Piniella, Woody Woodward and Clyde King, before getting out of baseball and concentrating on the Steinbrenner thoroughbred stable in Ocala, Florida. Ronald Blum, The Denver Post, "Hank Steinbrenner, New York Yankees co-owner, dies at 63," 14 Apr. 2020 In 1936, top Suffolk Downs trainer Tom Smith first saw Seabiscuit, an ungainly looking 3-year-old thoroughbred., "This day in history," 29 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for thoroughbred

Time Traveler

The first known use of thoroughbred was in 1701

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Statistics for thoroughbred

Last Updated

29 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thoroughbred.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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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
: a type of fast horse used mainly for racing


thor·​ough·​bred | \ ˈthər-ō-ˌbred How to pronounce thoroughbred (audio) \

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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