9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[breed] /brid/
verb (used with object), bred, breeding.
to produce (offspring); procreate; engender.
to produce by mating; propagate sexually; reproduce:
Ten mice were bred in the laboratory.
  1. to cause to reproduce by controlled pollination.
  2. to improve by controlled pollination and selection.
to raise (cattle, sheep, etc.):
He breeds longhorns on the ranch.
to cause or be the source of; engender; give rise to:
Dirt breeds disease. Stagnant water breeds mosquitoes.
to develop by training or education; bring up; rear:
He was born and bred a gentleman.
Energy. to produce more fissile nuclear fuel than is consumed in a reactor.
to impregnate; mate:
Breed a strong mare with a fast stallion and hope for a Derby winner.
verb (used without object), bred, breeding.
to produce offspring:
Many animals breed in the spring.
to be engendered or produced; grow; develop:
Bacteria will not breed in alcohol.
to cause the birth of young, as in raising stock.
to be pregnant.
Genetics. a relatively homogenous group of animals within a species, developed and maintained by humans.
lineage; stock; strain:
She comes from a fine breed of people.
sort; kind; group:
Scholars are a quiet breed.
Disparaging and Offensive. half-breed (def 1).
Origin of breed
before 1000; Middle English breden, Old English brēdan to nourish (cognate with Old High German bruotan, German brüten); noun use from 16th century
Related forms
breedable, adjective
overbreed, verb (used with object), overbred, overbreeding.
rebreed, verb, rebred, rebreeding.
subbreed, noun
1, 2. beget, bear, generate. 5. promote, occasion, foster, produce, induce, develop. 14. family, pedigree, line. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for breed
  • breeding for exaggerated qualities may well bring an end to the breed.
  • He's a kind of half-breed, and the colour's come off patchy instead of mixing.
  • But the real push for transparency has come from the scandals that often breed in opaque government.
  • Many reputable breeders are now using genetic tests to ensure they produce animals free from diseases that muddy their breed.
  • Our collective fat phobia has driven producers to breed leaner and leaner pork.
  • People have tried to breed them back into existence, but the originals were far larger.
  • In the near future, however, an entirely different breed of creatures could be saving humans in distress.
  • They not only breed with, but also share food with their mates and enjoy mutual grooming.
  • We can afford quite of lot of fun without damaging our capability to breed.
  • On her screen, the larger of two whooping cranes flaunts his outstretched wings, showing that he's ready to breed.
British Dictionary definitions for breed


verb breeds, breeding, bred
to bear (offspring)
(transitive) to bring up; raise
to produce or cause to produce by mating; propagate
to produce and maintain new or improved strains of (domestic animals and plants)
to produce or be produced; generate: to breed trouble, violence breeds in densely populated areas
a group of organisms within a species, esp a group of domestic animals, originated and maintained by man and having a clearly defined set of characteristics
a lineage or race: a breed of Europeans
a kind, sort, or group: a special breed of hatred
Word Origin
Old English brēdan, of Germanic origin; related to brood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for breed

Old English bredan "bring young to birth, carry," also "cherish, keep warm," from West Germanic *brodjan (cf. Old High German bruoten, German brüten "to brood, hatch"), from *brod- "fetus, hatchling," from PIE *bhreue- "burn, heat" (see brood (n.)). Original notion of the word was incubation, warming to hatch. Sense of "grow up, be reared" (in a clan, etc.) is late 14c. Related: Bred; breeding.


"race, lineage, stock" (originally of animals), 1550s, from breed (v.). Of persons, from 1590s. Meaning "kind, species" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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breed in Science
  1. To produce or reproduce by giving birth or hatching.

  2. To raise animals or plants, often to produce new or improved types.

Noun  A group of organisms having common ancestors and sharing certain traits that are not shared with other members of the same species. Breeds are usually produced by mating selected parents.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with breed
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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