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In biology, hybrid has two meanings. The first meaning is either the offspring of two different species, or of two different genera. The second meaning of "hybrid" is crosses between populations or cultivars ("cultivated varieties") of a single species. This second meaning is often used in plant breeding. Hybrids between species of the same genus are sometimes known as interspecific hybrids or crosses. Hybrids between different genera are sometimes known as intergeneric hybrids.

Ernst Mayr wrote of Gregor Mendel, "He was uncertain about the nature of the kinds of peas he crossed, and, like most plant breeders, he called heterozygotes "hybrids." When he tried to confirm the laws he had found by using "other hybrids" that were actually real species hybrids, he failed. The use of the same term "hybrid" for two entirely different biological phenomena thwarted his later efforts." (This is Biology, 1997, p58f).

Plant hybrids, especially, may or may not be stronger than either parent variety, a phenomenon which when present is known as hybrid vigour. In animals, hybrids often manifest reduced fertility or, like the mule are sterile.

Some interspecies hybrids are:

Hybrids should not be confused with chimeras.

In telecommunication, the term hybrid has the following meanings:

1. A functional unit in which two or more different technologies are combined to satisfy a given requirement.

Note: Examples of hybrids include (a) an electronic circuit having both vacuum tubes and transistors, (b) a mixture of thin-film and discrete integrated circuits, and (c) a computer, or electronic device that has both analog and digital capability.

2. A resistance hybrid.

3. A hybrid coil.

Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188

See also Hybrid car