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bred-in-the-bone

[bred-n-thuh-bohn]
adjective
  1. firmly instilled or established as if by heredity: the bred-in-the-bone integrity of the school's headmaster.
  2. deeply committed or resolved; unwavering: a bred-in-the-bone believer in civil rights.
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Origin of bred-in-the-bone

from the proverb “What is bred in the bone will not come out of the flesh,” first recorded in England (in Latin) circa 1290, widespread in various versions since the 15th cent.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bred-in-the-bone

Historical Examples

  • But one can never reckon with real, bred-in-the-bone old-maidism.

    Chronicles of Avonlea

    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  • Theodore Roosevelt was a thoroughgoing, bred-in-the-bone individualist, but not as the term is ordinarily understood.