Etymology
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breed (v.)

Old English bredan "bring (young) to birth, procreate," also "cherish, keep warm," from West Germanic *brodjan (source also of Old High German bruoten, German brüten "to brood, hatch"), from *brod- "fetus, hatchling," from PIE root *bhreu- "to boil, bubble, effervesce, burn." The etymological notion is incubation, warming to hatch.

Intransitive sense "come into being" is from c. 1200; that of "beget or bear offspring" is from mid-13c. Of livestock, etc., "procure by the mating of parents and rear for use," mid-14c. Sense of "grow up, be reared" (in a clan, etc.) is late 14c.; meaning "form by education" is from mid-15c. Related: Bred; breeding.

breed (n.)

"race, lineage, stock from the same parentage" (originally of animals), 1550s, from breed (v.). Of persons, from 1590s. Meaning "kind, species" is from 1580s.

updated on August 04, 2017

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Definitions of breed from WordNet
1
breed (v.)
call forth;
Synonyms: engender / spawn
breed (v.)
copulate with a female, used especially of horses;
Synonyms: cover
breed (v.)
cause to procreate (animals);
She breeds dogs
breed (v.)
have young (animals) or reproduce (organisms);
pandas rarely breed in captivity
Synonyms: multiply
2
breed (n.)
a special variety of domesticated animals within a species;
he experimented on a particular breed of white rats
Synonyms: strain / stock
breed (n.)
a special type;
Google represents a new breed of entrepreneurs
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.