Thoroughbred vs purebred

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Thoroughbred and purebred are two words that are often confused. We will examine the definitions of thoroughbred and purebred, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Thoroughbred is a breed of horse. The Thoroughbred is the breed of horse most often used in horse racing. The Thoroughbred was developed from a cross between English brood mares and imported Arabian stallions in the seventeenth century. The word thoroughbred is also used as an idiom to describe something of very high quality. Note that when it is used to mean a breed of horse, the word Thoroughbred is capitalized. The word thoroughbred to mean something of superior quality first occurred at the turn of the eighteenth century. Thoroughbred, to mean a breed of horse, was first used around the turn of the nineteenth century.

Purebred describes an animal of pure breeding stock, consisting of two parents that are of the same breed. Usually, purebred refers to animals which are registered with associations that keep track of purebred lineage. A purebred animal has a pedigree, or a record of its purebred lineage. The word purebred first appeared in the middle 1800s.


Indeed, there is increasing evidence that many conditions affecting Thoroughbred racehorses, such as EIPH, have a hereditary component. (The Horse Magazine)

The former commissioner said he is a thoroughbred technocrat, who has traversed every arm of government as a commissioner, a federal parliamentarian and lawyer, who was well groomed for the coveted seat. (The Guardian)

Returning to dogs, the issue of mixed breed versus purebred dogs vaulted into public consciousness in 2008 when the BBC broadcasted a brutally heartrending documentary “Pedigreed Dogs Exposed”. (Psychology Today)

But because all purebred dogs are as related to one another as we are to our immediate family members, every cancer they get is similar to the hereditary human cancers we already know about. (Popular Science Magazine)