Definition of pedigree in US English:



  • 1The record of descent of an animal, showing it to be purebred.

    • ‘The Rock has a track record and a pedigree that will attract much business to Coolmore's stables.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The American Border Collie Association will record this information, as well as eye certification, on pedigrees.’
    • ‘Four-sided conformation photos, training videos, and catalog-style pedigrees will be featured.’
    • ‘All cattle included in the study had pedigrees traceable to paternal and maternal grandparents.’
    • ‘In addition, the Anatolian prevails without benefit of a breed name, much less records or pedigrees, in its native land.’
    • ‘He came from a youngish pedigree, the first foal of an unraced mare.’
    • ‘The pedigree of the genotyped animals was traced back for five generations.’
    • ‘The American Kennel Club incorporates CERF numbers on registration papers and certified pedigrees.’
    • ‘Most of the houses would also have several dogs, who were very often pure bred, with their pedigrees running back for decades.’
    • ‘Obviously, the implementation of a successful breeding program will require correct pedigrees.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cattle purchased from Holland were used to improve English cattle in the eastern counties, and the recording of pedigrees began.’
    • ‘Leah spends many hours researching pedigrees and racing records for the long-term goals she and Don have set for the Ford Thoroughbreds.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘For most animal shows the animal has to have a pedigree as a purebred.’
    • ‘Twenty such pedigrees could be identified for a total of 941 animals.’
    • ‘Livestock are individuals with well-remembered pedigrees, not mere statistics.’
    1. 1.1 A purebred 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 was a stallion pedigree, physically superior, and proved the point.’
      • ‘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 developed his knowledge of horse pedigrees through the family business of breeding mares at their home in Fermoy, Co Cork.’
  • 2The recorded ancestry, especially upper-class ancestry, of a person or family.

    • ‘A complete clinical assessment, family history and pedigrees were all recorded in special case proformas.’
    • ‘Authors of county histories devoted much space to pedigrees of families, since this would induce the gentry to subscribe to their volumes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘New Delhi has enshrined performance and effectiveness as more important measures of human worth than family name or pedigree.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover, pedigrees, by which dynastic links could be checked, do not exist for all the families of all his beneficiaries.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Equally important is his stress on what he describes as ‘the genealogical imagination’ which typified an age obsessed by pedigree and ancestry.’
    • ‘It was obligatory to establish a family pedigree, going back at least several generations.’
    • ‘His method was to ask about their history, their pedigree, what he called their genealogy.’
    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 background or history of a person or thing, especially as conferring distinction or quality.
      • ‘In other words, the validity of a viewpoint seemed to hinge on the author's pedigree rather than on the cogency if his argument.’
      • ‘It's a great story, told by an author of proven pedigree.’
      • ‘He's a Catholic conservative, with a distinctive intellectual pedigree.’
      • ‘Such beacons have an historical pedigree and were once lit to warn of imminent danger.’
      • ‘And they have bought a new £14 million striker with a proven pedigree for scoring goals.’
      • ‘We have a proven pedigree because of our retailing backgrounds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet a third commercial rocket is being marketed from Russia, and this one has an historic pedigree.’
      • ‘Despite its pedigree, the company spluttered through its first two years.’
      • ‘The two British companies which are separated by 36 miles, both have distinguished pedigrees in their respective spheres.’
      • ‘The word ‘society’ has a long pedigree in Scottish political history.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All words have etymologies and all ideas have pedigrees.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And it is not surprising, considering the pedigree of both authors.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Given the distinguished pedigree of the current collection, jewelry historians and collectors should await new arrivals with eager anticipation.’
      • ‘More than historical pedigree or source credibility, I evaluate how it is presented.’
      origin, place of origin
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    2. 2.2 A genealogical table.
      • ‘A family tree or a pedigree is a diagram of the members of your extended family.’
      • ‘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.’


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