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bred-in-the-bone (comparative more bred-in-the-bone, superlative most bred-in-the-bone)

  1. (idiomatic, of a habit, trait, belief, etc.) Firmly established or instilled; deep-seated.
    • 1998, Judith Krantz, The Jewels of Tessa Kent, Bantam (1999), ISBN 0553561375, page 129:
      They had the kind of bred-in-the-bone manners that were unobtrusively the same for one and all.
    • 2008, Erna Paris, The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice, Seven Stories Press (2009), ISBN 9781583228791, page 47:
      But few could match the bred-in-the-bone exceptionalism rooted deep in America's self-image.
    • 2010, G. J. Meyer, The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty, Bantam Books (2011), ISBN 9780385340779, page 522:
      Her navy had barely broken off its pursuit of the fleeing Spaniards, in fact, when Elizabeth exposed her bred-in-the-bone selfishness, her cold indifference to the well-being of the subjects whose supposed love for her she and the royal propagandists endlessly celebrated as one of the wonders of the age.
  2. (idiomatic, of a person) Inveterate or habitual; long-standing.
    • 1982, Mary McGrory, "Arms Issue Joined At Grass Roots", Toledo Blade, 17 March 1982:
      Antrim, bred-in-the-bone Republican conservative, has a proud patriotic tradition.
    • 2001, Peter Steinfels, "Beliefs; A 19th-century theologian whose questions remain pertinent to the Roman Catholic Church", The New York Times, 24 February 2001:
      Critics see an unreasonable craving for authority in Newman's anti-liberalism. He was also a bred-in-the-bone Tory, and as the youthful leader of the Oxford Movement that sought a bulwark against Parliamentary manipulation of Anglicanism in its ancient Catholic roots, he could be savagely polemical.
    • 2005, William Johnson, Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, McClelland & Stewart (2006), ISBN 9780771095542, page 433:
      The point of this political genealogy is not only that Lawrence Cannon was a bred-in-the-bone Liberal, []


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