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 After almost a century of thoroughbred racing, Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights closed its gates to the sport Saturday for the final time – and the future of the venue remains uncertain. Chicago Tribune Staff,, 1 Oct. 2021 In addition to Orlando at Los Alamitos, there was also Bob Mieszerski, a former Times colleague, who worked the thoroughbred meetings. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2021 This year, the Jockey Club awarded its inaugural college scholarship earmarked for a minority student seeking to enter the thoroughbred industry. New York Times, 28 May 2021 Since 2003, the non-profit Old Friends has provided a retirement home for thoroughbred racehorses, from the sport's champions to the less-heralded. CBS News, 13 May 2021 Not going to be able to watch Saturday’s Belmont Stakes on TV, but still want to see which of the eight horses becomes the 153rd winner of the thoroughbred-racing classic? Mark Inabinett |, al, 5 June 2021 Lone Star Park was the highest seller in the city in May after thoroughbred racing season kicked off April 22. Maria Leontaras, Dallas News, 16 July 2021 But the real action is in the bigger-ticket assets, like the multiple houses, yachts, artworks, jets, and thoroughbred horses. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, 22 June 2021 The Queen owns many thoroughbred horses that have won races at Royal Ascot multiple times. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 16 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Baffert’s breakthrough thoroughbred was Thirty Slews, who won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 1992. Los Angeles Times, 1 Oct. 2021 Among the horses that Navarro trained and doped was XY Jet, a thoroughbred that won the 2019 Golden Shaheen race in Dubai. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 11 Aug. 2021 In racing terms, a cocktail was originally a word for a horse that was a mixed breed rather than a thoroughbred. Bee Wilson, WSJ, 22 July 2021 Fargis and his mount, Touch of Class, an American thoroughbred affectionately known as Kitty around the barn, were an unlikely pair. Alix Browne, Town & Country, 6 June 2021 Equine veterinarian Alex Harthill administered bute to Dancer's Image six days before the Derby for ankle problems, per The Post, and the medication was expected to leave the thoroughbred's system within 72 days. Shannon Russell, The Courier-Journal, 9 May 2021 But only a small minority of thoroughbreds are serious bleeders, and for decades nearly every thoroughbred in the U.S. has received race-day Lasix. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 15 May 2021 Such a move would be more fair, more fun and more definitive in determining the year’s top 3-year-old thoroughbred. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, 1 May 2021 But afterward, the thoroughbred goes back to the barn for food, rest and relaxation. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 26 Apr. 2021

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

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The first known use of thoroughbred was in 1701

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thoroughbred.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on thoroughbred

Nglish: Translation of thoroughbred for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about thoroughbred


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