breed

Definitions

General English

  • noun a group of animals or plants specially developed with features that make it different from others of the same type
  • verb to keep animals which produce young ones

Agriculture

  • noun a group of animals of a specific species which have been developed by people over a period of time so that they have desirable characteristics
  • verb to encourage something to develop
  • verb to produce an improved animal or plant by crossing two parent animals or plants showing the desired characteristics

Food

  • noun a group of animals of a particular species that have been developed by people over a period of time so that they have desirable characteristics
  • verb to reproduce, or cause animals or plants to reproduce

Slang

  • verb to make (a woman) pregnant. An item of black speech probably originating in the Caribbean. It occurs in the cult novel Yardie (1993) by Victor Headley.

Wine

  • the elegant quality of wines made from good-quality, noble grapes
  • the good quality that is the result of a good vineyard, soil, grape, and winemaker

Origin & History of “breed”

The Old English verb brēdan came from west Germanic *brōdjan, a derivative of *brōd-, which produced brood. this in turn was based on *brō-, whose ultimate source was the Indo-European base *bhrē- ‘burn, heat’ (its other English descendants include braise, breath, and probably brawn). The underlying notion of breed is thus not ‘reproduction’ so much as ‘incubation, the warmth which promotes hatching’.
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