Breed In The Bone Meaning
(idiomatic, of a habit, personal characteristic, etc.) To establish or ingrain firmly within someone's nature.
Example: 1825, Sir Walter Scott, The Betrothed, ch. 30:
"And for thy ill tongue, and worse practices, his lordship knows they are bred in the bone of thee."
1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin, ch. 19:
"My father was a born aristocrat. I think, in some preexistent state, he must have been in the higher circles of spirits, and brought all his old court pride along with him; for it was ingrain, bred in the bone, though he was originally of poor and not in any way of noble family."
1985 Dec. 8, "Books: Robertson Davies returns to a familiar, fulfilling venue," Chicago Tribune, p. I33 (retrieved 12 July 2011):
Davies meticulously establishes the background, the breeding in the bone, of his hero's life.
1998 May 29, Chris Darke, "Film: Famiglia feelings," The Independent (UK) (retrieved 12 July 2011):
The distinctiveness of Bellocchio's approach lay in his taking mental affliction, in this case epilepsy, and figuring it as symbolic of the self-immolating rage and frustration that the dysfunctional family breeds in the bone.
2008 Aug. 13, James Graff, "Russia: In Search Of Unity," Time:
One principle ought to be bred in the bone of any European after the carnage of the 20th century: that no act of state bears such ominous consequences as changing a border by force.