somewhat old-fashioned : having or displaying the politeness and good manners associated especially with people of high social class
a well-bred English gentleman
well-bred manners
Elizabeth had become a professional dancing teacher, with a school where well-bred children of the city learned the dances they were expected to know in the 1880s and 90s …Elizabeth Kendall
of an animal : having a good pedigree
well-bred swine
Gate Dancer is a very well-bred horse … who has both speed and stamina …William Leggett

Word History

First Known Use

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of well-bred was in 1585

Dictionary Entries Near well-bred

Cite this Entry

“Well-bred.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/well-bred. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having or showing good manners : polite

More from Merriam-Webster on well-bred

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!