breed

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old English bredan, related to English brood, cognate with German brüten.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

breed (third-person singular simple present breeds, present participle breeding, simple past and past participle bred)

  1. To produce offspring sexually; to bear young.
    • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3: 
      Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation, and individual plants are highly heterozygous and do not breed true. In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better.
  2. (transitive) To give birth to; to be the native place of.
    a pond breeds fish; a northern country breeds stout men
    • Shakespeare
      Yet every mother breeds not sons alike.
  3. Of animals, to mate.
  4. To keep animals and have them reproduce in a way that improves the next generation’s qualities.
  5. To arrange the mating of specific animals.
    She wanted to breed her cow to the neighbor's registered bull.
  6. To propagate or grow plants trying to give them certain qualities.
    He tries to breed blue roses.
  7. To take care of in infancy and through childhood; to bring up.
    • Dryden
      to bring thee forth with pain, with care to breed
    • Everett
      born and bred on the verge of the wilderness
  8. To yield or result in.
    disaster breeds famine;  familiarity breeds contempt
    • Milton
      Lest the place / And my quaint habits breed astonishment.
  9. (obsolete, intransitive) To be formed in the parent or dam; to be generated, or to grow, like young before birth.
  10. To educate; to instruct; to form by education; to train; sometimes followed by up.
    • Bishop Burnet
      No care was taken to breed him a Protestant.
    • John Locke
      His farm may not remove his children too far from him, or the trade he breeds them up in.
  11. To produce or obtain by any natural process.
    • John Locke
      Children would breed their teeth with less danger.

Synonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Noun[edit]

breed (plural breeds)

  1. All animals or plants of the same species or subspecies.
    a breed of tulip
    a breed of animal
  2. A race or lineage.
  3. (informal) A group of people with shared characteristics.
    People who were taught classical Greek and Latin at school are a dying breed.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch breet, breit, from Old Dutch *brēd, from Proto-Germanic *braidaz. Compare Low German breed, breet, West Frisian breed, German breit, English broad, Danish bred.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

breed (comparative breder, superlative breedst)

  1. broad

Declension[edit]

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Anagrams[edit]