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Do you know the dog’s pedigree?
  the line of ancestors of an animal

or more rarely:

the line of ancestors for a person; or general background of a person such as experience and education; or any background such as that of an idea
 Mark word for later review on this computer
pedigree pedigrees pedigreed
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  • Do you know the dog’s pedigree?
  • Unless you are an expert in the breed you are looking to buy, it’s unlikely that you, or any novice buyer, will be able to determine for yourself the quality of any untitled dogs in a pedigree.
  • The network news likes to hire journalists with a distinguished newspaper pedigree.
  • The idea has a long and impressive pedigree, but it failed miserably in the new economy.

  • Show more
  • I had no pedigree, no inherited title; so in the king’s and nobles’ eyes I was mere dirt; the people regarded me with wonder and awe, but there was no reverence mixed with it; through the force of inherited ideas they were not able to conceive of anything being entitled to that except pedigree and lordship.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • Ricky bought it from the town dump with a jar of quarters—or so he claimed—a pedigree whose odor even the forest of air-freshener trees he’d hung from the mirror couldn’t mask.
    Ransom Riggs  --  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • I was a young man, yes, but one of some learning and modest position as a junior officer, and if it was true that I was trained in a military school, not having his kind of university pedigree, it still seemed somewhat unfair of the doctor to belittle me so before a ward of enlisted men.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • A curved, gilded staircase dominates the area, creating a picture-perfect setting for couples with long dresses and tuxes, tasteful accents and pedigrees.
    Susan Ee  --  Angelfall
  • I have spent the last eighty years and more listening to a lady detail the pedigree of every dinner guest tonight.
    Gail Carson Levine  --  Ella Enchanted
  • You’re a stud with an impeccable military pedigree.
    David Baldacci  --  Zero Day

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  • Apparently, a Capitol pedigree is no protection here.
    Suzanne Collins  --  Mockingjay
  • Louie, who knew only a smattering of English until he was in grade school, couldn’t hide his pedigree.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • Who can show a pedigree like Leviathan?
    Herman Melville  --  Moby Dick
  • He has a long pedigree, a crooked tail and the drollest "phiz" in dogdom.
    Helen Keller  --  Story of My Life
  • I might think that—except that no one’s imprinting on me, notwithstanding my impressive pedigree.
    Stephenie Meyer  --  Breaking Dawn
  • What’s more,’ he added with satisfaction, ’Angus tells me that knowing the neighbourhood so well he has got attested pedigrees for them.
    John Wyndham  --  The Chrysalids
  • But the reader does not get his intellectual pedigree, for Mr. Washington himself, perhaps, does not as clearly understand it as another man might.
    Booker T. Washington  --  Up From Slavery: An Autobiography
  • Langdon occasionally ribbed Peter that the lone tarnish on his sterling pedigree was his diploma from a second-rate university—Yale.
    Dan Brown  --  The Lost Symbol
  • Not that Homer is free of longueurs: Phoinix’ tale of Meleagros in Iliad IX strikes me as windy, and in the slow movement of The Odyssey at least one of the digressions and retards-the pedigree of Theokly-menos-was too much even for this virtuoso to bring off.
    Homer  --  The Odyssey
  • Some horn players use a brass instrument, and some use nickel-silver, and the kind of horn the person is playing tells you something about what city they come from, their teacher, and their school, and that pedigree is something that influences your opinion.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Blink
  • I am as well bred as the Earl’s grand-daughter, for all her fine pedigree; and yet every one passes me by here.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • "Assuredly," said be, "my lords, the noble Cedric speaks truth; and his race may claim precedence over us as much in the length of their pedigrees as in the longitude of their cloaks."
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • "Shepherd would like to hear the pedigree of yer life, father— wouldn’t ye, shepherd?"
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • The blending of Greek and West Asiatic traditions can be seen in so central a figure as Zeus: dwelling on the peak of Mount Olympus and wielding the thunderbolt, Zeus has an Indo-European pedigree as a sky- and weather-god; this is indicated by the etymology of his name, which comes from a root (deiw-) meaning "shining,"
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • Woolf had the ideal pedigree for a jockey.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Seabiscuit
  • No doubt tidy, Martha Stewart, heirloom pedigree animals enclosed in chintz pens.
    James Patterson  --  School’s Out - Forever
  • Detected as the Bully of humility, who had built his windy reputation upon lies, and in his boastfulness had put the honest truth as far away from him as if he had advanced the mean claim (there is no meaner) to tack himself on to a pedigree, he cut a most ridiculous figure.
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • This was rather mortifying to George, who had paid a stiff price for Fey and her pedigree.
    Arthur C. Clarke  --  Childhood’s End
  • And this, as Merlyn drew it later, was what the magician called its pied-de-grue: Earl of Cornwall = Igraine = Uther Pendragon Morgan le Fay Elaine Lot = Morgause = Arthur Gawaine Agravaine Gaheris Gareth Mordred Even if you have to read it twice, like something in a history lesson, this pedigree is a vital part of the tragedy of King Arthur.
    T. H. White  --  The Once and Future King
  • Mrs. Woodcourt, after expatiating to us on the fame of her great kinsman, said that no doubt wherever her son Allan went he would remember his pedigree and would on no account form an alliance below it.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • Ilusha, who had heard three days before that he was to be presented with a puppy, not an ordinary puppy, but a pedigree mastiff (a very important point, of course), tried from delicacy of feeling to pretend that he was pleased.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  The Brothers Karamazov
  • He wanted a trunk of pedigree.
    Agatha Christie  --  Early Cases Of Hercule Poirot
  • Lastly, with monstrous impudence he used to say "you" to his equals and even those who knew what he was, and declare that his arm was his father and his deeds his pedigree, and that being a soldier he was as good as the king himself.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • Friends of mine who had gone to "real Harvard" said that displaying one’s Harvard pedigree was "not the thing to do," as if people could tell you went to Harvard by your ambience alone.
    Rick Bragg  --  All Over but the Shoutin’
  • In fact, she seemed to think I was exaggerating the pedigree of this place.
    Kazuo Ishiguro  --  The Remains of the Day
  • I had no pedigree, no inherited title; so in the king’s and nobles’ eyes I was mere dirt; the people regarded me with wonder and awe, but there was no reverence mixed with it; through the force of inherited ideas they were not able to conceive of anything being entitled to that except pedigree and lordship.
    Mark Twain  --  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
  • Any pedigree made a courtier of him, and he could call on a very high manner, if he wanted to, and get his lips into a tight suppressive line of dislike to baseness—the opposite to breeding.
    Saul Bellow  --  The Adventures of Augie March
  • ’Talking of the baron’s ancestor puts me in mind of the baron’s great claims to respect, on the score of his pedigree.
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • ’That pedigree I will give thee now—in my own fashion and some hard words as well.’
    Rudyard Kipling  --  Kim
  • …roaring mares and polled calves and longwoods and storesheep and Cuffe’s prime springers and culls and sowpigs and baconhogs and the various different varieties of highly distinguished swine and Angus heifers and polly bulllocks of immaculate pedigree together with prime premiated milchcows and beeves: and there is ever heard a trampling, cackling, roaring, lowing, bleating, bellowing, rumbling, grunting, champing, chewing, of sheep and pigs and heavyhooved kine from pasturelands of…
    James Joyce  --  Ulysses
  • In the family existence of these Pyncheons, for instance,—forgive me Phoebe, but I cannot think of you as one of them,—in their brief New England pedigree, there has been time enough to infect them all with one kind of lunacy or another.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • And in this way—whereas an artist who had been reading memoirs of the seventeenth century, and wished to bring himself nearer to the great Louis, would consider that he was making progress in that direction when he constructed a pedigree that traced his own descent from some historic family, or when he engaged in correspondence with one of the reigning Sovereigns of Europe, and so would shut his eyes to the mistake he was making in seeking to establish a similarity by an exact and…
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann’s Way
  • He has escorted women of unimpeachable breeding and pedigree.
    J.D. Robb  --  Naked in Death
  • She had many papers, like pedigrees, that told of various ancestors.
    Jill McCorkle  --  Ferris Beach
  • As you can imagine, its pedigree and properties make it priceless.
    Henry H. Neff  --  The Second Siege
  • And this one’s got a pedigree like no other.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • But you’ll labor like Thomas Aquinas over a rat-dog’s pedigree.
    Robert Bolt  --  A Man for All Seasons
  • He was of unknown pedigree.
    Isabel Allende  --  The House of Spirits
  • Fine old families; their pedigrees ensure a large degree of sticking together and giving advice to one another.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • They are terrible people—her monde; all mounted upon stilts a mile high, and with pedigrees long in proportion.
    Henry James  --  The American
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Associated words [difficulty]:   pedigree [5]
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