Definition of ruminant in English:



  • 1An even-toed ungulate mammal that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprise the cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives.

    • ‘It provides early spring forage not only for cattle and sheep, but for wild ruminants as well, including deer, bison, elk, and moose.’
    • ‘The other new rule tightens restrictions on ruminant feed, eliminating mammal blood, poultry litter and table scraps from the list of items that can legally be fed to cattle and other ruminants.’
    • ‘So mammals are unable to digest cellulose, except some ruminants that have cellulase-secreting bacteria in their rumens.’
    • ‘Sheep and goats are ruminants and are genomically similar to cows.’
    • ‘Because goats will consume a wider variety of plants than other commercial ruminants, they may be able to survive where cattle cannot.’
    • ‘The ability of ruminants to store partially chewed food in one stomach chamber and to return it to the mouth for further mastication explains why they do not need, and do not have, incisors in the upper jaw.’
    • ‘Accurate and precise estimates of forage energy content are required to formulate diets properly for lactating dairy cows and other ruminants.’
    • ‘Beef cows, brood ewes, and most other ruminants do not require consistent quality forage, and longer grazing periods should suffice.’
    • ‘In the ruminants (cows, deer, and others) these bacteria live in a series of auxiliary stomachs ‘upstream’ of the true stomach.’
    • ‘The giraffe is the biggest ruminant and the tallest mammal in the world.’
    • ‘Experts agree that hippos belong to the mammalian order Artiodactyla, a group of even-toed, hoofed creatures whose extant representatives include camels, pigs and ruminants such as cows.’
    • ‘The feeding of ruminant meat and bone meal to other ruminants had been a common practice in many countries until British experts determined that as the cause of BSE infection in cattle.’
    • ‘Forests are more than trees, of course, and along with its timber Afghanistan is at risk of losing its wolves, snow leopards, bears, and foxes, as well as alpine ruminants like Marco Polo sheep and ibex.’
    • ‘Although it has been widely assumed that ruminants, by virtue of rumen bacteria, do possess adequate phytase activity, there is evidence to the contrary.’
    • ‘Like ruminants, poultry and pigs raised on pasture also get to enjoy a less stressful life.’
    • ‘Note that cattle are ruminants and can convert inedible grains such as grass into protein and that they do not require to be fed soy and other grains.’
    • ‘In 2003, the United States exported approximately $7.5bn worth of beef, beef products, cattle and other ruminants and ruminant by-products.’
    • ‘In 1997 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency banned the feeding of recycled products from ruminant animals back to other ruminants, like cattle, sheep, goats, bison, elk or deer.’
    • ‘Millions of cattle and other ruminants pass so much gas every day, they now account for one-sixth of global methane emissions.’
    • ‘The report notes that the key to preventing BSE is to ensure that meat and bone meal from ruminants is not be fed back to ruminants.’
  • 2A contemplative person; a person given to meditation.

    ‘he was destined to become a ruminant, a haunter of libraries’


  • Of or belonging to ruminants.

    ‘a ruminant animal’
    • ‘Groups of ruminant steers had settled down in the shade of old oaks.’
    • ‘The U.S. imposed the ban on all Canadian ruminant products and by-products in May, following the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, on a farm in Alberta.’
    • ‘Caribou and muskox are included in the ruminant category, which means Nunavut country food products can't be sold overseas until the ban is lifted’
    • ‘He was interested in improving digestive processes within the rumen, the first of the four stomachs of ruminant animals, where cellulose is broken down by bacteria.’
    • ‘Forage crops and native rangelands are vital to U.S. livestock interests, since they're the main feed staple of all ruminant animals tied to the meat and dairy industries.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin ruminant- chewing over again, from the verb ruminari, from rumen throat (see rumen).