breed (verb, noun) past tense: bred LISTEN
Breed means ‘to reproduce’ living things.
- Mosquitos breed in standing water.
- The ranch breeds cattle.
- The farmer bred the tomatoes to be sweet.
Breed also means ‘to cause’ or ‘to be the source of.’
- Dirty hands breed germs.
- Warm, wet places breed bacteria.
A breed is a certain type of animal within a species, developed and maintained by humans.
- That breed of dog is good with children.
Did you know?
Although breeding often refers to animals, it applies to humans as well. When applied to people, usually of the upper classes, it refers to the way you were raised and the status of your family. If you are well bred, you are polite and do what is expected of a member of your class.
inbreeding: the sexual reproduction of closely related individuals. Example: “The royal family suffered from certain diseases due to inbreeding.”
In pop culture
A thoroughbred is an animal, usually a horse, with parents of the same breed. Every May, the very fastest three-year-old thoroughbreds compete in a horse race called the Kentucky Derby. Watch the race here.