The Past Tense of Breed: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Have you ever got stuck on the correct past tense of the irregular verb breed? This article will explain the conjugations of the word breed and also define breed and give you all the information you need about the word.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Breed?

The word breed is defined as:

Intransitive verb 

  • to produce offspring by sexual union 
    • places where mosquitoes breed
  • Copulate, mate
  • to propagate animals or plants

Transitive verb 

  • to produce (offspring) by hatching or gestation
    • yet every mother breeds not sons alike — Shakespeare
  • beget
    • He bred a daughter.
  • Produce, engender
    • despair often breeds violence
  • biology: to propagate (plants or animals) sexually and usually under controlled conditions 
    • bred several strains of corn together to produce a superior variety
  • Bring up, nurture
    • We were born and bred in the country.
  • to inculcate by training 
    • breed good manners into one’s children
  • mate
    • the business of breeding cattle
    • a horse that is bred to a donkey
  • to mate with
  • impregnate
    • delivered her kittens 63 days after being bred
  • physics: to produce (a fissionable element) by bombarding a nonfissionable element with neutrons from a radioactive element


  • biology: a group of usually domesticated animals or plants presumably related by descent from common ancestors and visibly similar in most characters 
    • exotic breeds of cats
    • retrievers and other popular dog breeds
  • a number of persons of the same stock 
  • Class, kind
    • a new breed of athlete
    • such people are a dying breed
    • a purebred dog

What Is the Past Tense of Breed?

The past tense of breed is breed. This would be used in a sentence like: 

How Do You Conjugate Breed?

Here are some conjugations of the English verb breed including the past tense:

Infinitive: To breed

Past Participle of Breed: Bred

Present Participle: Breeding

Present TenseSimple Past TenseFuture Tense
I breedbreadAm breeding
You breedbreadAre breeding
He/she/it breedsbreadIs breeding
We breedbreadAre breeding
They breedbreadAre breeding

The History and Origin of the Word

It has been used since before the 12th century in the same way we use it now as a veb. The word origin is from Old English “bredan” which meant to breed which was similar to “brod” which meant brood in the English language.

Synonyms of Breed From a Thesaurus

  • Multiply
  • Procreate
  • Progate
  • Reproduce
  • Class
  • Description
  • Feather
  • Genre
  • Ilk
  • Kidney
  • kind 
  • Like 
  • Manner
  • Nature
  • Order
  • Sort
  • Species
  • Strain
  • Stripe
  • Type
  • Variety

Examples of the Word in Context


Next time you need to write the word breed, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to use it efficiently. If you are trying to learn English, you should feel confident with the different conjugations, the history of the word, and the definition for both American English and British English.