from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To produce (offspring); give birth to or hatch.
  • transitive v. To bring about; engender: "Admission of guilt tends to breed public sympathy” ( Jonathan Alter).
  • transitive v. To cause to reproduce, especially by controlled mating and selection: breed cattle.
  • transitive v. To develop new or improved strains in (organisms), chiefly through controlled mating and selection of offspring for desirable traits.
  • transitive v. To inseminate or impregnate; mate with.
  • transitive v. To rear or train; bring up: a writer who was bred in a seafaring culture.
  • transitive v. To be the place of origin of: Austria breeds great skiers.
  • transitive v. To produce (fissionable material) in a breeder reactor.
  • intransitive v. To produce offspring.
  • intransitive v. To copulate; mate.
  • intransitive v. To originate and develop: Mischief breeds in bored minds.
  • n. A group of organisms having common ancestors and certain distinguishable characteristics, especially a group within a species developed by artificial selection and maintained by controlled propagation.
  • n. A kind; a sort: a new breed of politician; a new breed of computer.
  • n. Offensive A person of mixed racial descent; a half-breed.
  • idiom a scab Regional To stir up trouble for oneself.
  • idiom breed up a storm New England To become cloudy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To sexually produce offspring.
  • v. Of animals, to mate.
  • v. To keep animals and have them reproduce in a way that improves the next generation’s qualities.
  • v. To arrange the mating of specific animals.
  • v. To propagate or grow plants trying to give them certain qualities.
  • v. To make sure that one's young grow up to adulthood.
  • v. To yield or result in.
  • v. To ejaculate inside the penetratee during intercourse, especially in the rectum.
  • n. All animals or plants of the same species or subspecies.
  • n. A race or lineage.
  • n. A group of people with shared characteristics.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A race or variety of men or other animals (or of plants), perpetuating its special or distinctive characteristics by inheritance.
  • n. Class; sort; kind; -- of men, things, or qualities.
  • n. A number produced at once; a brood.
  • intransitive v. To bear and nourish young; to reproduce or multiply itself; to be pregnant.
  • intransitive v. To be formed in the parent or dam; to be generated, or to grow, as young before birth.
  • intransitive v. To have birth; to be produced or multiplied.
  • intransitive v. To raise a breed; to get progeny.
  • transitive v. To produce as offspring; to bring forth; to bear; to procreate; to generate; to beget; to hatch.
  • transitive v. To take care of in infancy, and through the age of youth; to bring up; to nurse and foster.
  • transitive v. To educate; to instruct; to form by education; to train; -- sometimes followed by up.
  • transitive v. To engender; to cause; to occasion; to originate; to produce.
  • transitive v. To give birth to; to be the native place of.
  • transitive v. To raise, as any kind of stock.
  • transitive v. To produce or obtain by any natural process.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To procreate; beget; engender; hatch.
  • To produce within or upon the body by development or organic process.
  • To cause; occasion; produce; originate.
  • To produce; be the native place of: as, a pond breeds fish; a northern country breeds a race of stout men.
  • To bring up; nurse and foster; take care of during the period of growth: as, born and bred.
  • To form by education; train: as, to breed a son to an occupation; a man bred at a university: commonly with up.
  • To procure by the mating of parents, and rear for use: as, to breed canaries; to breed cattle for the market.
  • Synonyms To generate.
  • To nourish, nurture.
  • To educate, school, discipline.
  • To raise.
  • To beget or bear offspring; produce young; be fruitful: used figuratively of increase generally.
  • To have birth; be produced; arise; grow; develop: as, maggots breed readily in carrion.
  • To procure the birth of young: with from: as, to breed from a mare of good stock.
  • To be pregnant.
  • n. A race or progeny from the same parents or stock; especially, a race of men or other animals having an alliance by nativity and some distinctive qualities in common, which are transmitted by heredity; hence, family; extraction: as, a breed of men in a particular country; horses or sheep of good breed.
  • n. Hence Sort; kind: in a general sense.
  • n. A number produced at once; a hatch; a brood: as,“above an hundred at a breed,”
  • n. Increase of any sort, especially interest on money; usury.
  • n. Breeding.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a special variety of domesticated animals within a species
  • v. copulate with a female, used especially of horses
  • v. cause to procreate (animals)
  • v. have young (animals) or reproduce (organisms)
  • n. a special type
  • v. call forth


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English breden, from Old English brēdan; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.



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