What is a hybrid?

A hybrid is a mix of two things to form one. Usually, the goal of a hybrid is to gain some advantage that neither of the two originals could achieve alone. The term hybrid can be used to classify a wide variety of things.
  • Hybrid plants. If you have a white flower and a red flower, you can cross-pollinate them to make a pink flower, the hybrid.
  • Hybrid animals, such as the offspring of a lion and tiger.
  • Hybrid populations. In the United States, for example, many children are hybrids of two homogeneous immigrant populations.
  • Hybrid radios. Early transistors could not operate at RF, so for a short period of time radios were built using vacuum tubes in the RF and IF stages and transistors in the audio stages. Thus using the advantages of both vacuum tubes and transistors to make smaller more portable radios, without having to wait for better transistors to be developed.
  • Hybrid integrated circuits (ICs). A type of integrated circuit built of separate components (e.g. transistors, diodes, monolithic integrated circuits, resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers) mounted on a miniature ceramic printed circuit board. Note that inductors and transformers cannot be components in monolithic integrated circuits (ICs), but can be components in hybrid integrated circuits (ICs).
  • Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, which incorporate both a gas-fueled internal combustion engine with a battery driven motor.
  • Hybrid words, which have roots from two different origins (most often one in Greek and one in Latin, such as "television").
  • Hybrid creatures in mythology, which are icons of two or more real-world animals.

Biologically, hybrids are the offspring of two different but closely related species. Often while having desirable traits these hybrids are sterile.