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’
    • ‘He came from a youngish pedigree, the first foal of an unraced mare.’
    • ‘For most animal shows the animal has to have a pedigree as a purebred.’
    • ‘There are meticulously maintained Shih Tzu breeding records and pedigrees for more than 50 years as well.’
    • ‘The pedigree of the genotyped animals was traced back for five generations.’
    • ‘All cattle included in the study had pedigrees traceable to paternal and maternal grandparents.’
    • ‘The American Border Collie Association will record this information, as well as eye certification, on pedigrees.’
    • ‘Cattle purchased from Holland were used to improve English cattle in the eastern counties, and the recording of pedigrees began.’
    • ‘Four-sided conformation photos, training videos, and catalog-style pedigrees will be featured.’
    • ‘The pedigree of each animal in the study was traced back as far as known.’
    • ‘The recorded pedigree had complex relationships between individuals because of random mating and selection.’
    • ‘Twenty such pedigrees could be identified for a total of 941 animals.’
    • ‘Livestock are individuals with well-remembered pedigrees, not mere statistics.’
    • ‘Leah spends many hours researching pedigrees and racing records for the long-term goals she and Don have set for the Ford Thoroughbreds.’
    • ‘The American Kennel Club incorporates CERF numbers on registration papers and certified pedigrees.’
    • ‘Written records go back to the 19th century and the Highland Cattle Herd Book, first published in 1885, lists pedigrees since that time.’
    • ‘Most of the houses would also have several dogs, who were very often pure bred, with their pedigrees running back for decades.’
    • ‘In addition, the Anatolian prevails without benefit of a breed name, much less records or pedigrees, in its native land.’
    • ‘The Rock has a track record and a pedigree that will attract much business to Coolmore's stables.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘Obviously, the implementation of a successful breeding program will require correct pedigrees.’
    1. 1.1 A pure-bred animal.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He developed his knowledge of horse pedigrees through the family business of breeding mares at their home in Fermoy, Co Cork.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was a stallion pedigree, physically superior, and proved the point.’
  • 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’
    • ‘Equally important is his stress on what he describes as ‘the genealogical imagination’ which typified an age obsessed by pedigree and ancestry.’
    • ‘A complete clinical assessment, family history and pedigrees were all recorded in special case proformas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover, pedigrees, by which dynastic links could be checked, do not exist for all the families of all his beneficiaries.’
    • ‘Some parents wanted to concentrate their flagging energies upon their other healthy children; others wanted to remove any taint which might affect the purity of their family pedigree.’
    • ‘Authors of county histories devoted much space to pedigrees of families, since this would induce the gentry to subscribe to their volumes.’
    • ‘The ideal candidate would have a royal lineage and pedigree which would enhance the position of the upstart Pahlavi monarchy, as well as political connections which would help Iran's power in the region.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His method was to ask about their history, their pedigree, what he called their genealogy.’
    • ‘I place the qualifier in the last sentence because the biggest trick, or illusion, or the tallest story fed to the human is the one of ancestry and pedigree.’
    • ‘New Delhi has enshrined performance and effectiveness as more important measures of human worth than family name or pedigree.’
    • ‘It was obligatory to establish a family pedigree, going back at least several generations.’
    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
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    1. 2.1 The history or provenance of a person or thing, especially as conferring distinction.
      ‘the scheme has a long pedigree’
      • ‘The history, and pedigree, of Madrid is unrivalled in world football.’
      • ‘Despite its pedigree, the company spluttered through its first two years.’
      • ‘And it is not surprising, considering the pedigree of both authors.’
      • ‘We have a proven pedigree because of our retailing backgrounds.’
      • ‘The two British companies which are separated by 36 miles, both have distinguished pedigrees in their respective spheres.’
      • ‘Despite its historical pedigree, the spartan bunker, home to the government in times of national emergency, has been deemed too old-fashioned.’
      • ‘All words have etymologies and all ideas have pedigrees.’
      • ‘It's a great story, told by an author of proven pedigree.’
      • ‘Yet a third commercial rocket is being marketed from Russia, and this one has an historic pedigree.’
      • ‘More than historical pedigree or source credibility, I evaluate how it is presented.’
      • ‘The rooms are tiny, but most have frescoed or coffered ceilings, and it has plenty of historical pedigree - Hans Christian Anderson lived and worked here in the mid 19th century.’
      • ‘Given the distinguished pedigree of the current collection, jewelry historians and collectors should await new arrivals with eager anticipation.’
      • ‘The word ‘society’ has a long pedigree in Scottish political history.’
      • ‘Such beacons have an historical pedigree and were once lit to warn of imminent danger.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And they have bought a new £14 million striker with a proven pedigree for scoring goals.’
      • ‘He's a Catholic conservative, with a distinctive intellectual pedigree.’
      • ‘In other words, the validity of a viewpoint seemed to hinge on the author's pedigree rather than on the cogency if his argument.’
      • ‘The team have confirmed that the Belgian will be part of the team for the race and, his previous pedigree in the sprints ought to see him come away with at least one stage win.’
      • ‘The company has an excellent pedigree, with many residential and commercial developments forming their impressive portfolio.’
      origin, place of origin
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    2. 2.2 A genealogical table.
      ‘my host showed me his family pedigree’
      • ‘For these reasons it is logical to consider drawing a pedigree when asking about family illnesses.’
      • ‘In the early eleventh century one branch of the powerful ÓNéill family drew up a pedigree that traced its descent for twenty generations.’
      • ‘As a primary example, collection of family history and construction of pedigrees is a common activity in genetics curricula.’
      • ‘A family tree or a pedigree is a diagram of the members of your extended family.’


  • (of an animal) pure-bred.

    ‘pedigree cats’
    • ‘In a pioneering study there, solar-powered electric fences are used to surround maternity pastures where expensive, pedigree calves are born.’
    • ‘She has gained work experience in a veterinary centre and is interested in breeding pedigree dogs.’
    • ‘The gang is targeting pedigree dogs who have tags with their name and telephone numbers.’
    • ‘Crufts is the biggest dog show in the world featuring around 20,000 top pedigree dogs all competing to achieve the title of Best in Show.’
    • ‘We have been breeding pedigree sheep in the Lowton areas for some 20 years.’
    • ‘A litter of week-old pedigree puppies were ritually sacrificed so that their silky soft, pure-white hides could be sewn together to line each shoe.’
    • ‘It was the same evening that her father's pedigree sheep were being taken to the voluntary cull.’
    • ‘This has come as very good news to all who breed and show at agriculture shows and pedigree sheep sales.’
    • ‘‘The sooner it is out of sight the better,’ he said, surveying his dead cows and calves, and the remains of his four prized pedigree bulls.’
    • ‘Anyone with knowledge of livestock and pedigree cattle will appreciate their true value.’
    • ‘A substantial reward has been offered for the safe return of a rare pedigree dog which was stolen in Bradford.’
    • ‘Every type of pedigree dog registered with the Kennel Club is represented.’
    • ‘Gangs are stealing pedigree dogs for sale in Ireland and abroad.’
    • ‘Organised gangs are stealing pedigree dogs of all breeds from homes across the country and the dognapping crime is on the increase.’
    • ‘Burglars hurled pedigree puppies out of the window during a raid on a house in Salford.’
    • ‘He then sold all his livestock and replaced them with four breeds of pedigree cattle.’
    • ‘The court was told Holloway has been involved in farming for 17 years and has built up two herds of rare pedigree cows.’
    • ‘In his spare time he was a dedicated horticulturist and he bred pedigree dogs.’
    • ‘There was a special companion dog show as well as sections for pedigree dogs and novelty categories.’
    • ‘The first phase of the plan, launched by DEFRA in July, was for pedigree sheep breeders.’
    pure-bred, thoroughbred, pure, pure-blooded, full-blooded
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Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French pé de grue ‘crane's foot’, a mark used to denote succession in pedigrees.