Main definitions of cow in English

: cow1cow2

cow1

noun

  • 1A fully grown female animal of a domesticated breed of ox, used as a source of milk or beef.

    ‘a dairy cow’
    See cattle
    • ‘Not only can high temperatures reduce semen quality and libido in bulls, but they can reduce fertility in cows as well.’
    • ‘Bulls consort with cows and with each other but generally spend much of their time alone.’
    • ‘A beef cow needs to produce enough milk to rear her calf well.’
    • ‘They already have their own cow for milk, and grow their own vegetables.’
    • ‘How many glasses of milk does a dairy cow produce each day?’
    • ‘Learning how to milk cows and shear sheep was crucial.’
    • ‘A full-time dairy and beef farmer, he milks 100 cows with an average yield of 1,650 gallons.’
    • ‘When rBGH gets injected into dairy cows, milk production increases by as much as 10-15%.’
    • ‘He grew up on the couple's farm in Bugthorpe where he loved to help out feeding the animals and milking the cows.’
    • ‘Charles milked dairy cows until he was 20 years old and has also been involved in agriculture and farming.’
    • ‘The value of a dairy cow to a farmer is the amount of milk that the cow produces and not its beef value.’
    • ‘The milk a dairy cow produces is worth far more on a supermarket shelf than in the stomach of her newborn.’
    • ‘Bulls can eat, walk, and run around, bang heads with other bulls, and mount those cows that are in heat.’
    • ‘The change from a dairy/beef cross cow to an all beef cross reduces milk production by up to 1 gallon per day.’
    • ‘The town bull had a different attitude to that of the cows.’
    • ‘As I was a farmer's daughter, Christmas Day began bright and early for me as I got up to help milk our herd of cows.’
    • ‘This genetically modified hormone was designed to increase milk production in dairy cows.’
    • ‘Birks' brother Walter looked after the dairy cows and the milk.’
    • ‘Their first ranch animal was a milk cow, and when she calved they were on their way to a herd of 120 or so.’
    • ‘This gave farmers an insight into the type of calves to expect from the various bulls on different type cows.’
    • ‘The dairy needs 130,000 cows to provide enough milk every year.’
    1. 1.1(loosely) a domestic bovine animal, regardless of sex or age.
      • ‘Some farmers are experiencing a dearth of grass and have released the dairy cows and beef cattle onto the silage fields.’
      • ‘Mongols drink the milk of horses, cows, and sheep, as well as tea and wine.’
      • ‘Livestock on a typical farm might include draft horses, beef cattle, milk cows, and hogs.’
      • ‘Conventional farmers feed dairy and beef cows grain and corn and sometimes cow by-products to increase the protein in their diet.’
      • ‘A close relative of the domestic cow, Banteng have curvy horns and white ‘stockings’ on their legs.’
      • ‘Cheese can be made out of milk from cows, goats, and sheep.’
      • ‘Finds of animal bones reveal that the ox and the cow were domesticated as were sheep and goats (kept for meat and wool).’
      • ‘In this regard it should be noted that cows slaughtered under the Scheme account for 31% of the total.’
      • ‘Grandfather had 10 or 15 dairy cows and sold the milk for income.’
      • ‘Sheep, cattle and dairy cows are the main targets but horses, sheep, goats and dogs are also affected.’
      • ‘Another common intolerance is to dairy products, including cow's milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream.’
      • ‘The fertilized hay will grow so we can feed our cows and produce milk.’
      • ‘Other firms have also tried to use milk from goats and cows to produce drugs but none have proved commercially viable.’
      • ‘Other studies have not observed a decrease in milk production for beef cows with mastitis.’
      • ‘We have succeeded in breeding a very efficient natural milk dairy cow.’
      • ‘The last animal on his farm was a grey cow whose breed had been on the family farm for generations.’
      • ‘Just as with cows raised for beef, dairy cattle are now usually raised in huge confinement operations.’
      • ‘There are approximately 574,000 beef and dairy cows in Manitoba.’
      • ‘It seems so apparent today that beef and dairy cows are the same animal.’
      • ‘The cows are bred to suit both the dairy and beef enterprise with a mixture of British Friesian and Holstein stock.’
    2. 1.2(in farming) a female domestic bovine animal that has borne more than one calf.
      Compare with heifer
      • ‘For suckler cows with calves, the biggest risk now is grass tetany.’
      • ‘Heifers also meet with good demand and the trade for suckler cows and calves was ‘exceptional’.’
      • ‘Suckler cows with calves will also benefit from early turnout provided the fields are sheltered and dry and you take steps to prevent tetany.’
    3. 1.3The female of certain other large animals, for example elephant, rhinoceros, whale, seal, or reindeer.
      • ‘So far Hornby Castle has six bison cows and one bull - the only ones in the North of England.’
      • ‘A handler was killed by an elephant cow which was being used on a film set in Broederstroom on Sunday.’
      • ‘When we pass a rock where a seal cow has just had a pup, we spot them out swimming, the baby piggy-backing on its mother's back.’
      • ‘While elephants are indisputably social animals the social lives of males and females - bulls and cows - may be contrasted.’
    4. 1.4derogatory, informal A woman, especially a fat or stupid one.
      ‘what does he see in that cow?’
      • ‘You are just another silly cow with an opinion on everything’
      • ‘Do you know that stupid cow gave me a 17 out of 20 on my last quiz?’
      • ‘I'd give anything to be able to spend a week with my parents again, you don't know how lucky you are you stupid cow.’
      • ‘She's a shameless flirt and might I add, a stupid cow.’
      • ‘Amazingly the police man backs down, calls her a stupid cow, and walks off.’

Phrases

  • have a cow

    • informal Become angry, excited, or agitated.

      ‘don't have a cow—it's no big deal’
      • ‘You better get going or your mom's going to have a cow.’
      • ‘Sometimes I wish I could wring that man's neck for the games he plays while I'm on the other side of the world having a cow!’
      • ‘I'm in there for forty-five minutes and you start to have a cow!’
      • ‘Her sister did the same thing and you didn't have a cow.’
      • ‘I'm afraid Mr. Napper is going to come across some of it and have a cow.’
      • ‘People would, well, have a cow, and for good reason.’
      • ‘Well, mom's having a cow so why don't you do the right thing and go to sleep.’
      • ‘So, if you're having a cow about the prospect of dating someone you work with - well, you should be.’
      • ‘I'm just relaying the message, don't have a cow.’
      • ‘Aunt Beth is having a cow about the messes I always make.’
  • till the cows come home

    • informal For an indefinitely long time.

      ‘those two could talk till the cows came home’
      • ‘I can micro-multi-task till the cows come home.’
      • ‘Surely she can carry on losing first-round matches till the cows come home.’
      • ‘Why do we build them, maintain them, extend them, lovingly twiddle about with them till the cows come home?’
      • ‘We may disapprove till the cows come home, it won't alter that fact.’
      • ‘But, if you want to come in and be a good boy and work well, I'll help you till the cows come home.’
      • ‘We could auction these 2200 jobs till the cows come home, but it will be totally futile.’
      • ‘These players can claim they are Irish till the cows come home but does anyone believe them?’
      • ‘The debate on whether the death penalty must be abolished or not will go on till the cows come home.’
      • ‘And from then on, it's rock n’ roll and dancing till the cows come home.’
      • ‘Play it till the cows come home I say!’

Origin

Old English cū, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch koe and German Kuh, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin bos and Greek bous.

Pronunciation:

cow

/kou/

Main definitions of cow in English

: cow1cow2

cow2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Cause (someone) to submit to one's wishes by intimidation.

    ‘the intellectuals had been cowed into silence’
    • ‘Just like real politics, the game cowed me into staying on message, and staying boring.’
    • ‘Some owners refused to be cowed by the intimidation of the clergy.’
    • ‘Subdued and cowed by the warlords, the public has little motivation to mobilize against the militias.’
    • ‘Opposition in Europe and elsewhere to the war was counteracted by a massive propaganda campaign to cow people into silence.’
    • ‘This severe treatment, which Alexander had his Greek allies confirm, cowed potential opponents such as Athens.’
    • ‘Economic troubles have fortunately not cowed artists or dealers in Japan.’
    • ‘But we have reached a frightening turning point if artists are cowed into silence by violence and threats.’
    • ‘He is not cowed by suggestions that it would be a failure to end his first season without a trophy.’
    • ‘And anybody who sort of thinks that this is sending a message of seeking to cow anyone is really misreading it.’
    • ‘I call them ‘logic monsters’ they use ‘logic’ to bully and cow people into doing what they want.’
    • ‘But for once not all the Libs were cowed: some, at least, of the backbench are still openly restless.’
    • ‘Garang had a broad impassive face; he cultivated a ponderous dignity that often cowed his opponents.’
    • ‘Politicians are too cowed by the media even to introduce the bill.’
    • ‘Would we do it if we were not cowed by the threat of a US backlash?’
    • ‘This is an awfully funny story if you are not cowed by the scholarly references.’
    • ‘So why have religious people been cowed into throwing their opinions overboard so easily?’
    • ‘Already, she was learning a little, because she was cowed before him.’
    • ‘The impassioned egalitarian rhetoric that asserts this supposed obligation cows many people into acquiescence.’
    • ‘Another alternative is to be cowed into silence by social intimidation.’
    • ‘Don't cow me down if you don't agree, just state your point and we will agree to disagree.’
    intimidate, daunt, browbeat, bully, badger, dragoon, bludgeon, tyrannize, overawe, awe, dismay, dishearten, unnerve, subdue, scare, terrorize, frighten, petrify
    psych out, bulldoze, railroad
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century: probably from Old Norse kúga oppress.

Pronunciation:

cow

/kou/