breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce breed (audio) \; breeding

Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation yet every mother breeds not sons alike— Shakespeare
2a : beget sense 1 He bred a daughter.
b : produce, engender despair often breeds violence
3 biology : to propagate (plants or animals) sexually and usually under controlled conditions bred several strains of corn together to produce a superior variety
4a : bring up, nurture We were born and bred in the country.
b : to inculcate by training breed good manners into one's children
5a : mate entry 4 sense 3 the business of breeding cattle a horse that is bred to a donkey
b : to mate with : inseminate
c : impregnate sense 2 delivered her kittens 63 days after being bred
6 physics : to produce (a fissionable element) by bombarding a nonfissionable element with neutrons from a radioactive element

intransitive verb

1a : to produce offspring by sexual union places where mosquitoes breed
b : copulate, mate
2 : to propagate animals or plants

breed

noun

Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 biology : a group of usually domesticated animals or plants presumably related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most characters exotic breeds of cats retrievers and other popular dog breeds
2 : a number of persons of the same stock (see stock entry 1 sense 4a(1))
3 : class, kind a new breed of athlete such people are a dying breed

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Examples of breed in a Sentence

Verb He got into the business of breeding cattle. The plants are bred to resist disease and drought. She believes that we are breeding a generation of children who know nothing about the history of their country. Noun The collie is a working breed. a new breed of athlete
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This puts them in a position to focus on experimentation and building toward greatness, rather than jumping through hoops, which can breed frustration and inefficiency. • Empower developers through automation. Gleb Polyakov, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Zed Run takes a fee from the money users pay to virtually breed horses on the site, as well as from race entry fees and the sale of these NFTs. Marc Vartabedian, WSJ, 21 July 2021 That might breed some overconfidence for the Buckeyes, who had some shaky moments against Minnesota. USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2021 Or would instability breed something as dangerous as the wave of Islamic State group attacks that spread after the Iraq War? BostonGlobe.com, 22 Aug. 2021 Repetition may breed familiarity, but new foods can spark interest. Alice Oglethorpe, Good Housekeeping, 19 Aug. 2021 Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a bottle cap full of water. Arkansas Online, 22 June 2021 That variation can breed mistrust: If voters in one county believe their election process is being administered correctly, different methods in other counties might strike them as suspect. New York Times, 24 Aug. 2021 For this sausage, Ang grinds heritage breed pork and bacon, adding breadcrumbs to help bind it together. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Gamers are a demanding breed and ferociously competitive. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 Dog Star Rescue has adoption events every weekend and adopts dogs of every size, breed and age. courant.com, 26 Aug. 2021 The three size options also ensure there's a fit for every breed and size. Stephanie Perry, PEOPLE.com, 23 Aug. 2021 Get a free quote from ASPCA Pet Health Insurance by entering your pet's age, breed, and location into this easy online form. Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Aug. 2021 Male cicadas will sing their very loud songs to attract a mate, breed and then die. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 17 Apr. 2021 As with other insurance, the cost of animal liability coverage depends on several factors, such as the dog’s breed and weight. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, 6 Apr. 2021 The more information owners enter about their animals, for example breed and age, the more precise the offers Chewy makes to these customers. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, 14 Dec. 2020 Wire fox terrier breed dogs have won the most Best in Show awards – 15 as of 2021. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 14 June 2021

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for breed

Verb

Middle English breden, from Old English brēdan; akin to Old English brōd brood

Noun

noun derivative of breed entry 1

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Learn More About breed

Time Traveler for breed

Time Traveler

The first known use of breed was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near breed

breech presentation

breed

breeder

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Statistics for breed

Last Updated

11 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/breed. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for breed

breed

verb

English Language Learners Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to keep and take care of animals or plants in order to produce more animals or plants of a particular kind
: to produce young animals, birds, etc. : to produce offspring by sexual reproduction
: to take care of and teach (a child who is growing up)

breed

noun

English Language Learners Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

: a particular kind of dog, cat, horse, etc. : a kind of animal that has been produced by breeding
: a kind of person

breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred \; breeding

Kids Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to produce or increase (animals or plants) by sexual reproduction Ranchers breed cattle for market.
2 : to produce offspring by sexual reproduction Mosquitoes breed in damp areas.
3 : to bring up : train I was born and bred in this town.
4 : to bring about : cause Poverty breeds despair.

Other Words from breed

breeder noun

breed

noun

Kids Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a kind of animal or plant that is found only under human care and is different from related kinds a breed of long-haired dogs
2 : class entry 1 sense 6, kind I don't like his breed of humor.

breed

verb
\ ˈbrēd How to pronounce breed (audio) \
bred\ ˈbred How to pronounce breed (audio) \; breeding

Medical Definition of breed

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation
2 : to propagate (plants or animals) sexually and usually under controlled conditions
3a : mate
b : to mate with : inseminate

intransitive verb

1a : to produce offspring by sexual union
b : copulate, mate
2 : to propagate animals or plants

breed

noun

Medical Definition of breed (Entry 2 of 2)

: a group of animals or plants presumably related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most characters especially : such a group differentiated from the wild type under domestication

More from Merriam-Webster on breed

Nglish: Translation of breed for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breed for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about breed

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