[haf-breed, hahf-]Disparaging and Offensive.


a contemptuous term used to refer to the offspring of parents of different racial origin, especially the offspring of an American Indian and a white person of European descent.


of or relating to such offspring.

Origin of half-breed

An Americanism dating back to 1750–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-breed

Contemporary Examples of half-breed

Historical Examples of half-breed

  • There was a half-breed among them, both whose hearts were black.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Someone told me they're called 'Jazz Louie and his half-breed bunch.'

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • The moment Stanley Fyles had disappeared he turned back to the half-breed.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • The half-breed did not reply, but crouched and pointed with his hand.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • The half-breed grinned, and displayed a flashing set of teeth.

    The Night Riders

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for half-breed



offensive a person whose parents are of different races, esp the offspring of a White person and an American Indian

adjective also: half-bred

of, relating to, or designating offspring of people or animals of different races or breeds
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

Word Origin and History for half-breed

"person of mixed race," 1760; as an adjective by 1762. Half-blooded in this sense is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper