Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

breed like rabbits

slang To have several babies in a short period of time. (Rabbits are known to produce a large number of offspring very rapidly.) I can't believe my sister is pregnant for the fourth time in five years. She and her husband just breed like rabbits!
See also: breed, like, rabbit

familiarity breeds contempt

Repeated exposure to someone or something often creates a contentious relationship. A: "Those two teams have built up quite a rivalry over the years." B: "They play in the same division, and familiarity breeds contempt." I've been stuck with Larry in the office all week, and I'm afraid they're right that familiary breeds contempt.
See also: breed, contempt

Familiarity breeds contempt.

Prov. People do not respect someone they know well enough to know his or her faults. The movie star doesn't let anyone get to know him, because he knows that familiarity breeds contempt.
See also: breed, contempt

Like breeds like.

Prov. People tend to raise children who are like them; something tends to give rise to things that resemble it. Jill: I think Fred's little boy is going to be just as disagreeable as Fred. Jane: That's no surprise. Like breeds like.
See also: breed, like

familiarity breeds contempt

Long experience of someone or something can make one so aware of the faults as to be scornful. For example, Ten years at the same job and now he hates it-familiarity breeds contempt. The idea is much older, but the first recorded use of this expression was in Chaucer's Tale of Melibee (c. 1386).
See also: breed, contempt

familiarity breeds contempt

If you say that familiarity breeds contempt, you mean that if you know someone or something very well, you can easily become bored with them and stop treating them with respect. Of course, it's often true that familiarity breeds contempt, that we're attracted to those who seem so different from those we know at home. It is second-year drivers — when familiarity breeds contempt for road rules — that are the problem. Note: Other nouns are sometimes used instead of contempt. Familiarity breeds inattention. Typically, family members are so convinced they know what another family member is going to say that they don't bother to listen.
See also: breed, contempt

a breed apart

a kind of person or thing that is very different from the norm.
See also: apart, breed

breed like rabbits

reproduce prolifically. informal
See also: breed, like, rabbit

familiarity breeds conˈtempt

(saying) you have little respect, liking, etc. for somebody/something that you know too well: George’s father is regarded by everyone as a great artist, but George doesn’t think he is. Familiarity breeds contempt!
See also: breed, contempt


a scab/scabs on (one's) nose Regional
To stir up trouble for oneself.

breed up a storm

New England
To become cloudy.
See also: breed, storm, up
References in periodicals archive ?
Dual-purpose heritage breed chickens are hardy and adaptable to foraging situations.
Caption: The Ocicat, a breed initially created by accident, is known for its exotic fur and predictable temperament.
I also hinted that compared to agriculture sector animal husbandry have not shown any worthwhile improvement of the Indian breeds of cattle.
5 indicated highest genetic similarity between Tharparker and Red-Sindhi and distinct position of Dajal breed (Fig.
RESULTS: Poor agreement was found between visual breed assignments and DNA results in 14 of the 20 dogs (70 percent).
Several backyard breeders dedicated to improving a heritage chicken breed might each keep a part of a flock that they manage, for breeding purposes, as if all of the small flocks were a single, large flock.
The report ends by quoting the National Animal Care and Control Association: "Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed.
What is not in doubt is the status of Black Welsh Mountain sheep as a genetically distinct breed.
Hope Rescue often finds itself at the forefront of dealing with the result of Bull breeds being bred irresponsibly.
Wallridge Moor Whistler, bred by Caroline Anderson, was first-placed Shearling tup, Male Champion and overall Breed Champion.
At the southern end of the range (Florida), Eastern Spadefoots can breed anytime during the year when suitable meteorological conditions occur (Hansen 1958; Greenburg and Tanner 2005).
The breed, Wulian, does not have pedigree records, so the samples were randomly collected.
Some old-fashioned breeds of farmyard animals didn't breed easily, for instance, or didn't have good mothering instincts.