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:
“How should the world be luckier if this house,
Where passion and precision have been one
Time out of mind, became too ruinous
To breed the lidless eye that loves the sun?”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)
“The aim of New Deals is to exterminate the class of creditors and thrust all men into that of debtors. It is like trying to breed cattle with all cows and no bulls.”
—H.L. (Henry Lewis)
“The new sound-sphere is global. It ripples at great speed across languages, ideologies, frontiers and races.... The economics of this musical esperanto is staggering. Rock and pop breed concentric worlds of fashion, setting and life-style. Popular music has brought with it sociologies of private and public manner, of group solidarity. The politics of Eden come loud.”
—George Steiner (b. 1929)