having inferior breeding or manners; vulgar.
not of pure breed, as a horse.

Origin of underbred

First recorded in 1640–50; under- + bred
Related formsun·der·breed·ing [uhn-der-bree-ding] /ˌʌn dərˈbri dɪŋ/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underbred

Historical Examples of underbred

  • They plainly did not know how to treat me, but behaved like persons who are underbred.

  • The man might be rude and underbred; he was rude and underbred!

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

  • It was, somehow, so underbred to owe money to all sorts of people.


    John Galsworthy

  • She is not the kind of person; she is underbred, uneducated.

    Phoebe, Junior

    Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

  • I should be sorry for him myself—if only he were not such an underbred beast!

British Dictionary definitions for underbred



of impure stock; not thoroughbred
a less common word for ill-bred
Derived Formsunderbreeding, noun
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 underbred

"of inferior breeding, vulgar," 1640s, from under + past participle of breed (v.). Of animals, "not pure bred," attested from 1890.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper