One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Large ruminant animals with horns and cloven hoofs, domesticated for meat or milk, or as beasts of burden; cows and oxen.
Bos taurus (including the zebu, B. indicus), family Bovidae; descended from the extinct aurochs
cows, bovines, oxen, bullsView synonyms
- ‘Walking home late one evening, a tuba player blew low notes near a herd of cattle.’
- ‘Anyone with knowledge of livestock and pedigree cattle will appreciate their true value.’
- ‘Because of the war the national cattle stock is low and animals have to be imported.’
- ‘This is a critical problem for Irish cattle farmers who rely so much on grass silage.’
- ‘People would bring cattle and other livestock from all around the area to be shipped out.’
- ‘Brazil is the world's second biggest soya producer and has the second biggest herd of cattle.’
- ‘They also kept sheep, goats and cattle to add milk, butter, cheese and meat to their diet.’
- ‘In Niger, communities have been forced to sell off their precious herds of cattle.’
- ‘Families in the cattle herding areas of the Somali region are the worst off.’
- ‘Hardy traditional cattle breeds would have been a common sight on the upland farms of the Dales many years ago.’
- ‘They were sheep and cattle herders in the main with some measure of agricultural development.’
- ‘The main form of agriculture was pastoral with cattle and sheep being grazed on unenclosed lands.’
- ‘Its main uses are as a forage crop for feeding cattle and as a green manure.’
- ‘Milk yield of milch cattle has been severely affected because of scarcity of fodder.’
- ‘Agriculture is mainly pastoral, but recent droughts have decimated cattle herds.’
- ‘It will not be known until this week, which abattoirs will be approved for dealing with older cattle.’
- ‘In 1920 the company bought farm land in Cheshire and raised a herd of Hereford beef cattle.’
- ‘Death is not usual but animals cease gaining weight and milk production in dairy cattle falls.’
- ‘He then sold all his livestock and replaced them with four breeds of pedigree cattle.’
- ‘Apparently the animals may also infect cattle with diseases and damage hay.’
2Animals of a group related to domestic cattle, including yak, bison, and buffaloes.
Tribe Bovini, family Bovidae (the cattle family): four genera, in particular Bos. The cattle family also includes the sheep, goats, goat-antelopes, and antelopes
- ‘Cereal collecting soon gave way to cereal cultivation and the domestication of sheep and cattle.’
Middle English (also denoting personal property or wealth): from Anglo-Norman French catel, variant of Old French chatel (see chattel).
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