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pedigree Line breaks: pedi|gree
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛdɪɡriː/

Definition of pedigree in English:


1The record of descent of an animal, showing it to be pure-bred: they are looking for animals with pedigrees [mass noun]: a spaniel of distinguished pedigree
More example sentences
  • ‘In doing this they get to know the animals, their pedigrees and so on, as they need to have that kind of information for the competition,’ he commented.
  • The pedigree of the genotyped animals was traced back for five generations.
  • The pedigree of each animal in the study was traced back as far as known.
1.1A pure-bred animal.
Example sentences
  • He was a stallion pedigree, physically superior, and proved the point.
  • Acceptance of the calf as a pedigree will be acknowledged by the respective breed society once the necessary requirements for that society have been met.
  • And these hounds have been born and bred as pedigrees for 200 years - if you take them out to drag hunt, they are guaranteed to chase a fox if they find one.
2The recorded ancestry or lineage of a person or family: with a pedigree equal to many of the gentry [mass noun]: the debate about pedigree and family fortunes
More example sentences
  • A complete clinical assessment, family history and pedigrees were all recorded in special case proformas.
  • Many Welsh pedigrees assign existing families a Roman ancestor in the person of some official who lived in the period between the departure of the legions and the Saxon conquest.
  • Farmer Robert Cunyngham Brown is a grey-haired countryman who owns both Graveland and Otterswick and has a family pedigree on the island that stretches back hundreds of years.
ancestry, descent, lineage, line, line of descent, genealogy, family tree, extraction, derivation, origin, heritage, parentage, paternity, birth, family, dynasty, house, race, strain, stock, breed, blood, bloodline, history, background, roots
rare stirps, filiation, stemma
2.1The history or provenance of a person or thing, especially as conferring distinction: the scheme has a long pedigree
More example sentences
  • We have a proven pedigree because of our retailing backgrounds.
  • Despite its historical pedigree, the spartan bunker, home to the government in times of national emergency, has been deemed too old-fashioned.
  • Few castles can boast the historic pedigree of Cathcart, which dates back to the days of Sir Alan Cathcart, a knight who served with Robert the Bruce.
2.2A genealogical table: my host showed me his family pedigree
More example sentences
  • A family tree or a pedigree is a diagram of the members of your extended family.
  • As a primary example, collection of family history and construction of pedigrees is a common activity in genetics curricula.
  • For these reasons it is logical to consider drawing a pedigree when asking about family illnesses.


British Back to top  
(Of an animal) pure-bred: pedigree cats
More example sentences
  • Organised gangs are stealing pedigree dogs of all breeds from homes across the country and the dognapping crime is on the increase.
  • Anyone with knowledge of livestock and pedigree cattle will appreciate their true value.
  • The first phase of the plan, launched by DEFRA in July, was for pedigree sheep breeders.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pé de grue 'crane's foot', a mark used to denote succession in pedigrees.

  • In medieval manuscripts a mark consisting of three curved lines was used to indicate a person's family descent or succession. People saw a resemblance between this mark and the claw or track of a crane, and called it ‘a crane's foot’—pé de grue in the French spoken by the descendants of Norman settlers in England. The name, which became pedigree, then came to refer to a family tree, and from that to a person's or, from the early 17th century, animal's lineage or descent.



Pronunciation: /ˈpɛdɪɡriːd/
Example sentences
  • Sam is a 14-year-old pedigreed Chinese crested and, unsurprisingly, has won the contest three times in a row.
  • Rogue employees have stolen and sold data from the most pedigreed blue chip companies.
  • Because they are pound dogs they are not really pedigreed, but the hunting breeds are good.

Words that rhyme with pedigree

Babbittry • banditry

Definition of pedigree in:

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