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

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

Last September, wealthy horse buyers, breeders and trainers from around the world descended on Lexington, Ky., to spend more than $377 million at the most important annual sale in the global thoroughbred industry. Miriam Gottfried, WSJ, "Controversy Undermines Integrity of Auction Where the Rich Buy Racehorses," 22 Mar. 2019 With nothing left to conquer or prove, Baffert said life will continue as usual for a high-profile personality with thoroughbred horse racing in his blood. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "2019 Kentucky Derby is already on minds of high-profile trainers," 10 June 2018 Mike Thomas’s job required him to spend most of his days teaching members of the club, set amid rolling hills and thoroughbred breeding farms outside Louisville. Brian Costa, WSJ, "The Secret to Raising a Golf Prodigy Isn’t What You Think It Is," 27 Apr. 2018 Favorite Justify seems to 'float' above track before Belmont Stakes Saturday Matt Stone, Louisville Courier Journal ELMONT, N.Y. — Gronkowski the thoroughbred racehorse is set to make his United States debut Saturday in the Belmont Stakes. Fletcher Page, The Courier-Journal, "Rob Gronkowski showed up at the Belmont Stakes to support Gronkowski," 9 June 2018 The highly skilled and lightweight jockeys who ride thoroughbred racehorses weigh anywhere from 105 to 116 pounds, and when racing, a horse doesn’t carry any more than 126 pounds. Kalyn Kahler,, "The Odds Aren’t In His Favor, but Rob Gronkowski Is All in on Gronkowski the Horse," 5 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Where to Go Keeneland offers world-class thoroughbred racing twice a year (see, no Derby tickets required)! Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "5 Things You Must Do In Kentucky," 3 May 2019 When you're done, head over to Mill Ridge Farm, which has a stellar reputation for breeding champion thoroughbreds. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "5 Things You Must Do In Kentucky," 3 May 2019 Its big attraction is the thoroughbred racing and casino complex called Gulfstream Park. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "This Once-Scruffy Beach Town Is South Florida’s New Real Estate Hot Spot," 13 Feb. 2019 The condition, though not fatal, can leave thoroughbreds out of sorts for weeks with running noses and aching muscles. Carol Ryan, WSJ, "A $300 Million Dose of Horse Flu," 7 Feb. 2019 Riders brought their ponies, thoroughbreds, clydesdales and standardbreds to Pimlico to walk in the footsteps of such champions as Secretariat, Seabiscuit, American Pharoah, Cigar and Justify., "Digest (July 8): 23-year-old jockey Jevian Toledo excelling at Laurel Park," 8 July 2018 The decor is cause for sensory overload with nods to Louisville’s horse racing tradition seen in various photos of thoroughbreds and Churchill Downs landscapes. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Try one of these top 13 best-reviewed Louisville restaurants of 2018," 15 June 2018 Its surface is only a half-mile oval—as opposed to the one-mile oval at Suffolk — and is considered narrow for thoroughbreds. Andy Rosen,, "Suffolk Downs group plans to conduct racing at Great Barrington in 2019," 23 May 2018 The 144th edition of the mile-and-a-quarter race for three-year-old thoroughbreds is expected to attract more than 150,000 spectators. Danielle Rossingh, CNN, "The Kentucky Derby: five reasons why you shouldn't miss it," 2 May 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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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
: 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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Comments on thoroughbred

What made you want to look up thoroughbred? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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