The word "breed" refers to a species of animal, or it’s the act of bringing together the male and female of a species for the purpose of producing offspring (babies).


Plants and animals are bred in order to produce some desirable quality. Cows, for example, might be bred for their milk.

When "breed" is used as a verb, it’s important to learn how it changes because it’s irregular.

simplepastpast participle
  • This cow was bred for its milk.
  • This particular breed of cow produces good milk. (The word "breed" is a noun.)


  • The science of breeding plants produces stronger varieties and greater yields.
  • Farmers experiment with selective breeding to increase crop production.

Dog have been bred over hundreds of years to produce animals that possess special qualities:

  • German Shepherds are bred to be guard dogs. They are very good at protecting people and property.
German Shepard
  • Some dog breeds have long hair. Others have very short hair. The length of the hair is a characteristic of the breed.
long-haired dog
  • Many breeds perform some kind of work for their owners. This particular breed of dog is good at hunting. It’s bred to be a hunting dog.
hunting dog

While it may be possible to use the word "breed" to describe human beings, many people find it distasteful. To say that people are breeding somehow equates them with animals; however, there are some instances when the word "breed" would be acceptable in describing a person:

  • He was very brave. It takes a special breed of person to do what he did.
  • Modern human beings are a breed far different from their ancestors.

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June 11, 2013