American English

Definition of breed verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they breed
    he / she / it breeds
    past simple bred
    -ing form breeding
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  1. 1[intransitive] (of animals) to have sex and produce young Many animals breed only at certain times of the year. see also interbreed
  2. 2[transitive] breed something (for/as something) to keep animals or plants in order to produce young ones in a controlled way The rabbits are bred for their long coats. Greyhounds were originally bred as hunting dogs. the first panda to be bred in captivity collocations at Topic CollocationsFarminggrowing food and raising animals plant trees/seeds/crops/vines/barley grow/produce corn/wheat/rice/fruit plow land/a field sow/harvest seeds/crops/fields spread manure/fertilizer on something cultivate/irrigate/water/contaminate crops/plants/fields/land damage/destroy/lose your crop ripen/pick fruit/berries/grapes press/dry/ferment grapes grind/thresh grain/corn/wheat raise/rear/keep chickens/poultry/cattle/pigs raise/breed/feed/graze livestock/cattle/sheep butcher/kill/slaughter livestock preserve/smoke/cure/salt meatmodern farming run a fish farm/an organic dairy farm engage in/be involved in intensive (pig/fish) farming use/apply (chemical/organic) fertilizer/insecticides/pesticides begin/do/conduct field trials of GM (= genetically modified) crops grow/develop GM crops/seeds/plants/foods fund/invest in genetic engineering/research improve/increase crop yields face/suffer from/alleviate food shortages label food that contains GMOs (= genetically modified organisms) eliminate/reduce farm subsidies oppose/be against factory farming/GM food promote/encourage/support organic/sustainable farmingcross-breed, pure-bred, thoroughbred
  3. 3[transitive] breed something to be the cause of something Nothing breeds success like success.
  4. 4[transitive, usually passive] breed something into somebody to educate someone in a particular way as they are growing up Fear of failure was bred into him at an early age. see also well-bred
  5. Idioms
    born and bred
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    born and having grown up in a particular place with a particular background and education He was born and bred in Boston. I'm a Chicagoan, born and bred.
    familiarity breeds contempt (saying)
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    knowing someone or something very well may cause you to lose admiration and respect for them/it
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: breed