[thur-oh-bred, -uh-bred, thuhr-]


of pure or unmixed breed, stock, or lineage, as a horse or other animal; bred from the purest and best blood.
(sometimes initial capital letter) of or relating to the Thoroughbred breed of horses.
(of a person) having good breeding or education.


(initial capital letter) one of a breed of horses, to which all racehorses belong, originally developed in England by crossing Arabian stallions with European mares.
a thoroughbred animal.
a well-bred or well-educated person.

Origin of thoroughbred

First recorded in 1695–1705; thorough + bred
Related formsthor·ough·bred·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for thoroughbred

purebred, blood, pedigree, full-blooded, pedigreed

Examples from the Web for thoroughbred

Contemporary Examples of thoroughbred

Historical Examples of thoroughbred

  • Thoroughbred is the word for her, style and action, as the horse people say, perfect.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Their horse would go to the post as fit as any thoroughbred had ever stripped.


    W. A. Fraser

  • "Thoroughbred for a horse, and purebred for a cow," Rose repeated willingly.


    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • So the Manxman, such as he is, taken all the centuries through, is thoroughbred.

  • Murieta was washing his thoroughbred mare in the bed of the ravine.

    When the West Was Young

    Frederick R. Bechdolt

British Dictionary definitions for thoroughbred





a pedigree animal; purebred
a person regarded as being of good breeding



a British breed of horse the ancestry of which can be traced to English mares and Arab sires; most often used as a racehorse
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 thoroughbred

1701, of persons, "thoroughly accomplished," from thorough + past tense of breed. In the horse sense of "of pure breed or stock" it dates from 1796; the noun is first recorded 1842.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper