Definition of pedigree in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈpedəˌɡrē/


1The record of descent of an animal, showing it to be purebred.
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 purebred 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, especially upper-class ancestry, of a person or family.
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 (of descent), genealogy, family tree, extraction, derivation, origin(s), heritage, parentage, bloodline, dual heritage, background, roots
2.1The background or history of a person or thing, especially as conferring distinction or quality.
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.
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.



Pronunciation: /ˈpedəˌɡrēd/
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.


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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ped·i·gree

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