[ bree-ding ]
/ ˈbri dɪŋ /


the producing of offspring.
the improvement or development of breeds of livestock, as by selective mating and hybridization.
Horticulture. the production of new forms by selection, crossing, and hybridizing.
training; nurture: He is a man of good breeding.
the result of upbringing or training as shown in behavior and manners; manners, especially good manners: You can tell when a person has breeding.
Energy. the production in a nuclear reactor of more fissile material than is consumed.


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Origin of breeding

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at breed, -ing1


non·breed·ing, adjective, noun

Definition for breeding (2 of 2)

[ breed ]
/ brid /

verb (used with object), bred, breed·ing.

verb (used without object), bred, breed·ing.


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


breed·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·breed, verb (used with object), o·ver·bred, o·ver·breed··breed, verb, re·bred, re·breed·ing.sub·breed, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for breeding

British Dictionary definitions for breeding (1 of 2)

/ (ˈbriːdɪŋ) /


the process of bearing offspring; reproduction
the process of producing plants or animals by sexual reproduction
the result of good training, esp the knowledge of correct social behaviour; refinementa man of breeding
a person's line of descenthis breeding was suspect
physics a process occurring in a nuclear reactor as a result of which more fissionable material is produced than is used up

British Dictionary definitions for breeding (2 of 2)

/ (briːd) /

verb breeds, breeding or bred


Word Origin for breed

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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for breeding

[ brēd ]


To produce or reproduce by giving birth or hatching.
To raise animals or plants, often to produce new or improved types.


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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with breeding


see familiarity breeds contempt.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.