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’
    • ‘The recorded pedigree had complex relationships between individuals because of random mating and selection.’
    • ‘There are meticulously maintained Shih Tzu breeding records and pedigrees for more than 50 years as well.’
    • ‘Four-sided conformation photos, training videos, and catalog-style pedigrees will be featured.’
    • ‘The American Kennel Club incorporates CERF numbers on registration papers and certified pedigrees.’
    • ‘The American Border Collie Association will record this information, as well as eye certification, on pedigrees.’
    • ‘The pedigree of the genotyped animals was traced back for five generations.’
    • ‘He came from a youngish pedigree, the first foal of an unraced mare.’
    • ‘Cattle purchased from Holland were used to improve English cattle in the eastern counties, and the recording of pedigrees began.’
    • ‘Most of the houses would also have several dogs, who were very often pure bred, with their pedigrees running back for decades.’
    • ‘All cattle included in the study had pedigrees traceable to paternal and maternal grandparents.’
    • ‘Written records go back to the 19th century and the Highland Cattle Herd Book, first published in 1885, lists pedigrees since that time.’
    • ‘The pedigree of each animal in the study was traced back as far as known.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘The Rock has a track record and a pedigree that will attract much business to Coolmore's stables.’
    • ‘In addition, the Anatolian prevails without benefit of a breed name, much less records or pedigrees, in its native land.’
    • ‘Twenty such pedigrees could be identified for a total of 941 animals.’
    • ‘For most animal shows the animal has to have a pedigree as a purebred.’
    • ‘Leah spends many hours researching pedigrees and racing records for the long-term goals she and Don have set for the Ford Thoroughbreds.’
    • ‘Livestock are individuals with well-remembered pedigrees, not mere statistics.’
    1. 1.1 A pure-bred animal.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He developed his knowledge of horse pedigrees through the family business of breeding mares at their home in Fermoy, Co Cork.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
    • ‘It was obligatory to establish a family pedigree, going back at least several generations.’
    • ‘Authors of county histories devoted much space to pedigrees of families, since this would induce the gentry to subscribe to their volumes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Equally important is his stress on what he describes as ‘the genealogical imagination’ which typified an age obsessed by pedigree and ancestry.’
    • ‘New Delhi has enshrined performance and effectiveness as more important measures of human worth than family name or pedigree.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A complete clinical assessment, family history and pedigrees were all recorded in special case proformas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover, pedigrees, by which dynastic links could be checked, do not exist for all the families of all his beneficiaries.’
    • ‘His method was to ask about their history, their pedigree, what he called their genealogy.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘Despite its historical pedigree, the spartan bunker, home to the government in times of national emergency, has been deemed too old-fashioned.’
      • ‘The history, and pedigree, of Madrid is unrivalled in world football.’
      • ‘More than historical pedigree or source credibility, I evaluate how it is presented.’
      • ‘We have a proven pedigree because of our retailing backgrounds.’
      • ‘Given the distinguished pedigree of the current collection, jewelry historians and collectors should await new arrivals with eager anticipation.’
      • ‘Despite its pedigree, the company spluttered through its first two years.’
      • ‘The word ‘society’ has a long pedigree in Scottish political history.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Such beacons have an historical pedigree and were once lit to warn of imminent danger.’
      • ‘The company has an excellent pedigree, with many residential and commercial developments forming their impressive portfolio.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The two British companies which are separated by 36 miles, both have distinguished pedigrees in their respective spheres.’
      • ‘Yet a third commercial rocket is being marketed from Russia, and this one has an historic pedigree.’
      • ‘It's a great story, told by an author of proven pedigree.’
      • ‘All words have etymologies and all ideas have pedigrees.’
      • ‘He's a Catholic conservative, with a distinctive intellectual pedigree.’
      • ‘And it is not surprising, considering the pedigree of both authors.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.’
      • ‘As a primary example, collection of family history and construction of pedigrees is a common activity in genetics curricula.’
      • ‘In the early eleventh century one branch of the powerful ÓNéill family drew up a pedigree that traced its descent for twenty generations.’
      • ‘A family tree or a pedigree is a diagram of the members of your extended family.’


  • (of an animal) pure-bred.

    ‘pedigree cats’
    • ‘This has come as very good news to all who breed and show at agriculture shows and pedigree sheep sales.’
    • ‘Anyone with knowledge of livestock and pedigree cattle will appreciate their true value.’
    • ‘Gangs are stealing pedigree dogs for sale in Ireland and abroad.’
    • ‘The court was told Holloway has been involved in farming for 17 years and has built up two herds of rare pedigree cows.’
    • ‘Burglars hurled pedigree puppies out of the window during a raid on a house in Salford.’
    • ‘The gang is targeting pedigree dogs who have tags with their name and telephone numbers.’
    • ‘In his spare time he was a dedicated horticulturist and he bred pedigree dogs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was the same evening that her father's pedigree sheep were being taken to the voluntary cull.’
    • ‘A substantial reward has been offered for the safe return of a rare pedigree dog which was stolen in Bradford.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘In a pioneering study there, solar-powered electric fences are used to surround maternity pastures where expensive, pedigree calves are born.’
    • ‘Every type of pedigree dog registered with the Kennel Club is represented.’
    • ‘He then sold all his livestock and replaced them with four breeds of pedigree cattle.’
    • ‘There was a special companion dog show as well as sections for pedigree dogs and novelty categories.’
    • ‘She has gained work experience in a veterinary centre and is interested in breeding pedigree dogs.’
    • ‘Organised gangs are stealing pedigree dogs of all breeds from homes across the country and the dognapping crime is on the increase.’
    • ‘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.