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true (genuine, legitimate) +‎ bred (past tense of breed)


true-bred (comparative more true-bred, superlative most true-bred)

  1. Purebred; genetically pure.
    • 2012, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution, →ISBN:
      The issue of a wife is unlawful seed; And none's legitimate, but mongrel breed. Thou, and thy branches, have quite cross'd the strain, We ne'er shall see a true-bred whelp again.
    • 2013, Ed James, The Game Cock, →ISBN:
      The Henny strain never breeds a long-tailed cock unless crossed. The contrary has been stated by many persons, but the mistake has arisen from various birds which have not been true-bred Henny, but only the product of some cross; such will, of course, breed both kinds of plumage, but the true-bred Henny never does.
    • 2013, The French Bulldog - A Complete Anthology of the Dog, →ISBN:
      Notwithstanding, there is no reason why a toy English bulldog should not be accomplished; but, equally, there is no reason why the true-bred French bulldog should not be preserved in its integrity, and recognised as such by the Kennel Club.
  2. Genuine.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, part 1:
      Well, for two of them, I know them to be as true-bred cowards as ever turn'd back; and for the third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I 'll forswear arms.
    • 1653, Izaak Walton, The Compleat Angler: Or, Contemplative Man's Recreation.:
      But there are some covetous rigid persons, whose souls hold no sympathy with those of the innocent Anglers, having either got to be lords of royalties, or owners of lands adjoining to rivers, and these do, by some apted clownish nature and education for the purpose, insult and domineer over the innocent angler, beating him, breaking his Rod, or at least taking it from him, and sometimes imprisoning his person as if he were a Felon: Whereas a true-bred Gentleman scorns those spider-like attempts, and will rather refresh a civil stranger at his Table, than warn him coming on his ground upon so innocent an occasion.
    • 1841, James Fenimore Cooper, The Deerslayer:
      It's all that, lad, the eyes of twenty white men never having been laid on it; still, twenty true-bred frontiersmen—hunters and trappers, and scouts, and the like,—can do a deal of mischief if they try.
  3. Of a proper lineage.
    • 1999, Edward D. Ives, “Bold McCarthy”, in Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island:
      Come all ye true-bred Irishmen, a story I will tell Concerning bold McCarthy who in Liverpool did dwell.
    • 2007, Philippa Gregory, Wideacre: A Novel, →ISBN, page 255:
      Why, she is the image of Papa! A true Lacey! Don't you think so? A very true-bred heir, my darling!
    • 2013, Philippa Gregory, The White Princess, →ISBN:
      'I don't know why for sure,' she says. 'But I suppose, if I was Henry's mother, I would not want my child, a pretender, a usurper, king only by right of battle, taking his crown alongside a princess, a true-bred princess of the royal family, beloved of the people, and a beauty. Apart from anything else I would not like how it looked.'
  4. Inborn.
    • 1903, Mary Hallock Foote, A Touch of Sun, and Other Stories, page 16:
      Experience, I grant, he probably lacks ; but he has the true-bred instinct.

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