A breed is a specific group of domestic animals or plants with a homogeneous appearance, behavior, and other characteristics that distinguish it from other animals or plants of the same species, and arrived at through selective breeding. Despite the centrality of the idea of "breeds" to animal husbandry, there is no scientifically accepted definition of the term. A breed is therefore not an objective or biologically verifiable classification, but instead a term of art amongst groups of breeders who share a consensus around what qualities make some members of a given species members of a nameable subset. The term is distinguished from landrace, which refers to a naturally occurring regional variety of domestic (and sometimes feral) animal through uncontrolled breeding.
When bred together, animals of the same breed pass on these predictable traits to their offspring, and this ability—known as "breeding true"—is a requirement for a breed. Plant breeds are more commonly known as cultivars. The offspring produced as a result of breeding animals of one breed with other animals of another breed are known as crossbreeds or mixed breeds. Crosses between animal or plant variants above the level of breed/cultivar (species, subspecies, botanical variety, even different genera) are referred to as hybrids.
Famous quotes containing the word breed:
“The note of the white-throated sparrow, a very inspiriting but almost wiry sound, was first heard in the morning, and with this all the woods rang. This was the prevailing bird in the northern part of Maine. The forest generally was alive with them at this season, and they were proportionally numerous and musical about Bangor. They evidently breed in that State.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Not from this anger after
Refusal struck like a bell under water
Shall her smile breed that mouth, behind the mirror,
That burns along my eyes.”
—Dylan Thomas (19141953)
“If our vaunted rule of the people does not breed nobler men and women than monarchies have doneit must and will inevitably give place to something better.”
—Anna Julia Cooper (18591964)