Definition of calve in US English:



  • 1no object (of cows and certain other large animals) give birth to a calf.

    • ‘Unlike on most dairy farms, all the cows calve at the same time of year, and the cows are not milked in wintertime.’
    • ‘Before calving, they return to Tuttle and the cycle begins again.’
    • ‘It feels like a fresh start now that we have got cows calving again.’
    • ‘We are not aware of similar data reported for cows calving during different seasons of the year.’
    • ‘Cows calved from February 15 to March 20 at the Eastern Colorado Research Center.’
    • ‘It will be important to leave enough quota for the spring time when cows start calving again.’
    • ‘This will allow farmers to shift animals from rented grazing land to pasture nearer home to supervise lambing or calving or turn out animals onto summer pasture from overcrowded steadings.’
    • ‘Cows were removed from the hay paddock as they calved and were placed on their respective cool-season grass pastures.’
    • ‘The single dose format also reduces risks associated with excessive handling of animals close to calving.’
    • ‘Summer calving in southern and southeastern herds is questionable because of the potential for reduced calf performance.’
    • ‘The cottage was to be built on the Kilkenny Road, but Miss Lennon complained that Mickey's father would be too far away from his work if anything happened, like a cow calving in the middle of the night.’
    • ‘But Mrs Appleby said she was not fazed by the work, including the first time she had to help a cow calve.’
    • ‘Also, heifers that conceive earlier in their first breeding season calve earlier and wean heavier calves.’
    • ‘Cows that calve in hot summer months may experience a longer period from parturition to subsequent pregnancy.’
    • ‘Sara said she probably wouldn't get back to Bolton to see her dad, Leonard, who has a farm in Little Lever, because his cows were calving but she hoped her mum, Jackie, would come and see her at the events.’
    • ‘As well as the deaths, it also led to other problems including cows calving on board.’
    • ‘If the legs move at each strain it is likely that the cow will calve without too much trouble.’
    • ‘Cow and calf producers typically choose to commence calving and breeding at times of the year when weather is least stressful and forage conditions are optimal.’
    • ‘They're very easily kept, you don't need a shed for them and they calve easily.’
    • ‘Not all cows calve by day, so cows have to be monitored for up to 200 nights per year.’
    1. 1.1with object (of a person) help (a cow) give birth to a calf.
      • ‘Cows and newly calved heifers are immune to gutworms and very rarely show any signs of infection.’
      • ‘And he claims to have lost 37 calves during the winter, when he could not be present during complicated deliveries, because he was calving elsewhere.’
      • ‘If possible, heifers should be trained to lie in cubicles before entering the main herd, as first calved heifers are a very vulnerable group for lameness.’
      • ‘She calved her second in the 120-cow herd in June.’
      • ‘A greater percentage of first-calf heifers required assistance at calving and were calved in a smaller lot, thus increasing the opportunity for additional stress and scours on their calves.’
      • ‘I would give those that were calved in the latter end of April and May a little milk all through the winter.’
      • ‘However, the single goal of matching the female's periods of high nutrient demand to optimal forage conditions may not always provide enough information to make informed decisions about when females should be calved.’
      • ‘Two stories and a side shed provide space for calving heifers, storing wagons, and fixing equipment.’
      • ‘Very often those calved heifers fail to go back in calf easily and become late calvers the following season.’
  • 2with object (of an iceberg or glacier) split and shed (a smaller mass of ice).

    • ‘Another penguin species, the Adelies, were cut off from their breeding grounds by unusually large icebergs, calved from the continental ice shelf.’
    • ‘It has shelves that calve big icebergs all the time, and we've tracked a lot of bergs from there.’
    • ‘Out past a cruising leopard seal, the distant Marr Glacier calves another berg, the boom echoing across the water.’
    • ‘The glacier frequently calves huge chunks of ice into the Copper River.’
    • ‘Ominously, the calving of monstrous Antarctic icebergs is becoming a regular occurrence.’
    1. 2.1no object (of a mass of ice) split off from an iceberg or glacier.
      • ‘Arctic icebergs tend to calve from fast-moving glaciers and, therefore, tend to look like small mountains bobbing in the sea.’
      • ‘They were bruised and bloodied, but at least they had prevented a huge piece of the ice-shelf from being calved off into the ocean.’
      • ‘The event was unusual, because it was the second-largest iceberg to calve in the region in 26 months.’
      • ‘I saw and heard the piercing crack of an iceberg calving and the resounding silence on the top of Ellesmere Island.’
      • ‘Vast ice shelves in the Ross and Weddell Seas calve off huge tabular icebergs of hundreds and even thousands of square kilometres, that float away from Antarctica and into the Southern Ocean and drift north.’
      • ‘They do drift this far south after calving off the Arctic ice sheets further north.’
      • ‘‘Large icebergs calve off on a fairly regular basis from the larger ice shelves in Antarctica’ he says.’
      • ‘Using stable sea kayaks, we'll explore a remote corner of this region, search for wildlife in sheltered coves, and watch glaciers calve into ice-choked bays.’
      • ‘Some 40,000 icebergs are thought to calve annually.’
      • ‘Estimates are that as many as 200 such icebergs have calved during the past 10,000 years.’
      • ‘In the Northern Hemisphere, because of the thickness of glacial ice and the way it calves, most icebergs are of the more dramatically shaped kinds.’
      • ‘They have calved off the Grey Glacier and been blown along the lake by the wind.’
      • ‘At night, you'll listen to the crack of icebergs calving, reminding you that, while Antarctica might not be far away, everything else is.’
      • ‘Every now and then a massive block of ice calved off into the water.’
      • ‘Glaciers can move and calving can occur, causing huge icebergs to break away and wreak havoc.’
      • ‘Kayak as near as you dare to gigantic cathedrals of ice calving from Alaskan glaciers.’


Old English calfian, from cælf ‘calf’.