Definition of pig in US English:



  • 1An omnivorous domesticated hoofed mammal with sparse bristly hair and a flat snout for rooting in the soil, kept for its meat.

    "Sus domesticus" (with numerous varieties), family "Suidae" (the pig family), descended from the wild boar and domesticated over 8,000 years ago. The pig family also includes the warthog and babirusa, but the similar peccaries are placed in their own family

    • ‘But all cattle, sheep, pigs and goats will be banned from the show site.’
    • ‘The animals that were kept domestically were much the same as today, sheep, pigs, cattle, goats and a few horses.’
    • ‘Besides this, Spanish cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats introduced European meats and fats, milk, butter, and cheese to the Mexican diet.’
    • ‘When the programme is completed, it will have encompassed more than 1,200 pig herds.’
    • ‘Almost everyone worked with cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry and other domestic livestock.’
    • ‘Cloned animals now include five species of mammals: sheep, goats, pigs, mice and cows - but all come with a dubious safety record.’
    • ‘Settlements began to encourage the growth of plants such as barley and lentils and the domestication of pigs, sheep and goats.’
    • ‘I researched all the farmers' markets and spent time on a rare breed pig farm in Cumbria.’
    • ‘The telling factor could be if the disease gets into pig herds.’
    • ‘Hair of pigs and horses are widely used in rugs and upholstery stuffings.’
    • ‘Remember to stress that they cannot keep the pot-bellied pig.’
    • ‘They first introduced horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and domestic poultry.’
    • ‘Supplies of meat will be affected as cattle, pigs and sheep remain wherever they are.’
    • ‘The hides of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer, and perhaps horses, were all used.’
    • ‘Foot and mouth can affect cattle, pigs, sheep and goats, leading to the development of blisters in the mouth causing increased salivation, and lameness.’
    • ‘With the advent of farming in the Neolithic, a number of animal species were domesticated, starting with sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle.’
    • ‘With the help of some farmers around, we kept two pigs fed on our leftovers.’
    • ‘In addition, the water has been contaminated by discharge from local pig farms.’
    • ‘The disease can affect cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer (cloven hoofed species).’
    • ‘These features correlate with the more or less omnivorous diet of pigs and peccaries.’
    hog, boar, sow, porker, swine, piglet
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A wild animal of the pig family.
      • ‘State and government agencies are also investigating whether wild pigs might play a role in spreading disease to crops that reach humans' plates.’
      • ‘Catlike predators with long tails, fossas hunt everything from lemurs and mice to wild pigs.’
      • ‘Golden eagles are also being relocated to the mainland, an option not available for wild pigs, which the state designates as pests.’
      • ‘Other creatures can also flourish there, including quail, jackrabbits, and small, wild pigs called javelinas.’
      • ‘Feral pigs churn up soil and uproot native plant species, denuding landscapes and promoting weed growth.’
      • ‘Wild pigs include the warthog, giant forest hog and red river hog.’
      • ‘Because of the rich diversity of this region, Nicobari pigeons, wild pigs, monitor lizards, tortoises, and crocodiles thrive there.’
      • ‘From what scientists can tell, their preferred diet is deer and wild pigs called peccaries.’
      • ‘Wild pigs, porcupines and rats, which are the main predators in paddy fields, are kept away using traps.’
      • ‘Apparently rural hunters use dogs to hunt down and kill feral pigs.’
      • ‘In Missouri last week state wildlife officials publicly urged the nearly 500,000 licensed deer hunters to kill feral pigs too.’
      • ‘The trees' seeds are dispersed by birds, wild pigs, agoutis, bats, and monkeys, as well as by wind and water.’
      • ‘Hunting provided most food: deer, wild cattle, elk, wild pig, pine martens, red fox, and beavers.’
      • ‘Less than 25 percent of those eggs would hatch in the wild, with the rest eaten by monitor lizards and feral wild pigs or drowned by rainy season floods.’
      • ‘Such holidays occur after good hunts or when large game animals, such as an elephant or a wild pig, have been captured.’
      • ‘We enjoy long walks on the trails searching for the perfect walking stick, tracking deer, wild pigs and other animals.’
      • ‘Ecologically, they range from forest dwellers, such as wild pigs and chevrotains, to dominant large herbivores on grasslands.’
      • ‘In areas of highest density of the highlands there are no wild pigs and a few boars are kept for breeding.’
      • ‘Pigs are hardy animals and prolific breeders, and in addition to the domestic animals reared on farms, nearly four million wild pigs now roam the United States.’
      • ‘In warmer periods the reindeer and mammoths would withdraw northwards, but they would give place to deer and wild pigs, which prefer a wooded environment.’
    2. 1.2North American A young pig; a piglet.
      • ‘In contrast, iron is well recognized as being necessary for the young pig and must be administered within a few days of birth.’
      • ‘Sprinkling the starter diet or a small quantity of oat groats on the mat close to the feeder allows the pigs to become acquainted with the feeder.’
      • ‘He performed his experiments especially on monkeys and on young pigs and described the instruments and methods used in experimenting.’
      • ‘There are several physiological changes that occur in the digestive tract of the young pig from birth to eight weeks of age.’
      • ‘Consequently, the young pig must be provided a large amount of energy from fat or carbohydrate in the colostrum in order to survive.’
      • ‘Young pigs are kept in semi-darkness to minimise fighting and aggression caused through frustration due to their appalling conditions.’
      • ‘Body tissues with the highest rate of formation in younger pigs are bone and muscle.’
      • ‘Nursing the sow and consuming colostrum shortly after birth is critical for pigs of any birth weight.’
      • ‘For example, younger grower pigs have a high rate of bone growth and therefore have a higher calcium and phosphorus requirement.’
      • ‘We have 300 sows and 200 young pigs which are being reared on the farm.’
      • ‘Major challenges of the young weanling pig involve the environment, health, and nutritional conditions.’
    3. 1.3 The flesh of a pig, especially a young one, as food.
      • ‘The crackling roast suckling pig may divide your table; it's nasty to some, but to others, each bite echoes the sound of maracas.’
      • ‘Pork and other pig products - ham, bacon, and sausages - are staples of the Castilian diet.’
      • ‘The food, which was served, consisted of roast pig, beef slices, as well as roast and mashed potatoes and provided all the energy for a long night's dancing into the early hours.’
      • ‘"The team that was running the pig meat business is virtually intact.’
      • ‘In fact we can buy a ranch and eat suckling pig, if food is what bothers you and dress up for the carnival.’
      • ‘The Thursday plat du jour is suckling pig cooked to crackly perfection, with a smoky hint of apples.’
      • ‘This is a cold appetiser, with roast suckling pig, sliced beef, jelly fish and ham.’
      • ‘Madonna's wedding meal was a truly mediaeval feast with a roast pig on a spit.’
      • ‘This huge chunk of pig leg was deliciously tender and moist served with steamed spinach, cherries and their reduction.’
      • ‘In terms of food, it is usually a roast suckling pig and rice, but it can even be a sandwich.’
      • ‘Most of the population seemed to be pottering around the streets and there were dozens of stalls groaning under the weight of roast pigs.’
      • ‘Galicians specialize in trencherman food: suckling pig, grilled skate, pulpy octopus speckled with sea salt and paprika.’
      • ‘There is a tradition of roasted suckling pig with a red egg in its snout.’
      • ‘He said pig meat accounts for almost half of all meat consumed within the EU.’
      • ‘I don't eat pig meat and I don't drink any more.’
      • ‘Entry fee includes green fee, caddy, European and Thai food, and pig on a spit.’
      • ‘Belly of pork is the kitchen's star turn, a tender piece of pig scented with the pungent breath of garlic flowers - tube of crackling included.’
  • 2informal A greedy, dirty, or unpleasant person.

    ‘you're such a pig when it comes to sleep’
    • ‘Almost down to his last low, although this time round, he had been such a greedy pig.’
    • ‘Happily, in most cases, the gentlemen are not chauvinist pigs either, and both parents share the duties of feeding the chicks when they hatch.’
    • ‘Some of the lads embrace their new role as master of the house more enthusiastically than others, but are they really capable of playing the male chauvinist pig for the full four weeks?’
    • ‘He was a greedy pig, and he should never have given in.’
    • ‘It's in my nature to be a greedy fat-sucking pig.’
    • ‘She'd come close to hitting him except that he'd finished with such a charming smile that she couldn't stay irritated at him for being a chauvinist pig.’
    • ‘Thirty years later, feminists referred to men as ‘male chauvinist pigs.’’
    • ‘A devotee of the sexual revolution, he remained in many ways an unreconstructed, 1950s male chauvinist pig.’
    • ‘Go ahead: call me an insensitive male chauvinist pig.’
    • ‘Maybe I'm a chauvinist pig, but you know, the women in my life have never given me any reason to think otherwise.’
    • ‘Girls get backhanded by misogynist male pigs, women get into fistfights with each other, old flames line up on opposite sides of the battlefield.’
    • ‘I mean, a male chauvinist pig isn't born, he's made, and more and more of them are being made by women.’
    • ‘He deserved it anyway, leaving me to be trampled on by those male pigs!’
    • ‘At least I know he's not a sexist chauvinistic pig.’
    • ‘He couldn't help but admire how much more of a fat, greedy, oafish pig his uncle had become in his absence.’
    glutton, guzzler, gobbler, gorger, gourmand, gourmandizer, binge eater
    brute, monster, devil
    View synonyms
  • 3derogatory A police officer.

    • ‘Sure, you might call the guy who is a pig a pig, but not all policemen.’
    • ‘At about the same time, people who disliked the police began calling them pigs.’
    • ‘All police are pigs because they make the conscious decision to join an organization which is, basically, legal GANGSTERISM.’
    • ‘He's known for unusual sentences, like the time he ordered a man who called a police officer a pig to spend a couple of hours penned up with the real thing.’
    • ‘And a man who called a policeman a pig had to stand for two hours with a hog in a pen set up in a town centre.’
  • 4An oblong mass of iron or lead from a smelting furnace.

    See also pig iron
    • ‘The French iron industry, together with the Italian, came to excel in engineering rather than in the manufacture of pig and cast-iron.’
    • ‘One indication of its importance is the incidence of lead pigs or ingots, many stamped with the emperor's name or that of a lessee, which have been found across Britain.’
    • ‘Lead ore, pig lead, timber and chert stones from Flintshire were the other significant cargoes.’
    • ‘In order to make malleable wrought iron, the iron pigs were reheated and forged into red hot iron masses called blooms.’
  • 5A device which fits snugly inside an oil or gas pipeline and is sent through it to clean or test the inside, or to act as a barrier.

    • ‘I thought the miniature pig laser tests we did for NASA on the ISS were crazy.’
    • ‘The pig is forced down the pipeline by hydrostatic or pneumatic pressure that is applied behind the pig.’
    • ‘Depending upon function, different pig designs are used.’


[no object]
  • 1informal Gorge oneself with food.

    ‘don't pig out on chips before dinner’
    • ‘As soon as they got their food they started pigging out as the man had said to do.’
    • ‘My sister-in-law, who is a qualified nutritionist, was impressed by the fact that instead of my usual bacon, sausage and egg for breakfast I was now pigging out on fat-free yoghurts and masses of fruit.’
    • ‘We went to a nice restaurant where I pigged out on seafood.’
    • ‘Alyssa and I were in the hotel room pigging out on Chinese food.’
    • ‘Suppertime had been Dad's favorite time of the day and Mom had always loved cooking great things for him and they used to sit across the table from each other just enjoying the moment as us kids pigged out on the food.’
    • ‘The idea is that if we remove those toxins that have built up in our bodies from bad diet, pigging out, late nights, stressful lifestyles and pollutants in the atmosphere, we will find health and vitality.’
    • ‘Since the last time I was here, the Hotel had added sausage, bacon and eggs to their buffet breakfast and we lingered, savoured or pigged out if you prefer.’
    • ‘The guests stayed a few hours, and they took turns playing video games, they all pigged out on junk food, Eon showed the group his latest paintings, and Melanie read them her latest chapter of her book.’
    • ‘We shared traditional Bulgarian, Russian, and American foods, and pigged out for four hours.’
    • ‘They sat around Denise's mom dinning table and pigged out on as much food as they could stuff inside their mouths.’
    • ‘A couple of hours later after the girls had pigged out on food, watched a movie, and talked for over an hour, Abby was sound asleep on the floor.’
    • ‘The three girls danced and laughed and Jenn pigged out on the food.’
    • ‘And, as the whole pack contained only 280 calories, there were no guilt issues about pigging out.’
    • ‘She rapidly scanned the room to see if she knew anyone and in the corner of the room where she was sitting that morning, she spotted her brother and Alex still pigging out on food.’
    • ‘Any more of this Zen acceptance stuff and I'd sit about all day blissfully pigging out on junk food and getting obese.’
    • ‘And as if that wasn't enough, she pigs out on a raspberry and almond tart too.’
    • ‘I've been trying to eat properly recently, as I am fighting the proverbial battle of the bulge, but over the last two days, I have been pigging out!’
    • ‘Well, after we got through pigging out, we all sat around, too stuffed to move.’
    • ‘The two of them were in Paige's dorm room pigging out on junk food watching television.’
    • ‘Fortunately he gave up and drove off, leaving us to enjoy the rest of the night pigging out on western style food and booze and dodgy films.’
    stuff, cram, fill
    View synonyms
  • 2informal Crowd together with other people in disorderly or dirty conditions.

    ‘he and Irving pigged it for years in a shoebox of an apartment’
    ‘I have no intention of pigging with that bunch for another day’
    • ‘After years of separation, their paths cross only to find out that Anna is living a happy married life with two children, whereas Raoul has become a porter with a family of six children who are forced to pig it as they cannot afford proper housing.’
    • ‘'The men were prepared to pig it anyhow, and a few cubic feet of space didn't matter - such was their spirit.'’
    • ‘In Bolton they pigged it in a wretched artisans' dwelling in Davenport Street. The project was none the less immensely successful.’
    • ‘Having no offer of beds, I returned to the schooner, and we pigged it out in the least miserable way we could.’
    • ‘So long as they pigged it with him and were willing to share his lot he was not unkind to them, unless he happened by some accident to achieve drunkenness.’
  • 3(of a sow) give birth to piglets; farrow.

    • ‘If their sow pigged or their hens breed chickens, they cannot afford to eat them but must sell them to make their rent.’
    • ‘The other sow pigged, and has raised a lovely litter of 6.’
    • ‘The patron of the hospital was held in such esteem, that when any person's sow pigged, one was set apart, and fed as fat as they could make it, to give to the brethren of St. Anthony.’
  • 4Operate a pig within an oil or gas pipeline.

    • ‘And once you've pigged, or maintenance pigged, the pipeline, then you run a smart pig through there, and a smart pig measures the wall thickness of the pipe so that you can find little weaknesses before they rupture.’
    • ‘The purpose of operational pigging is to obtain and maintain efficiency of the pipeline to be pigged.’
    • ‘If the pipeline is to be cleaned mechanically or "pigged" the pipeline size may dictate the minimum valve bore or the valve configuration.’


  • bleed like a (stuck) pig

    • Bleed copiously.

      • ‘The witnesses were more than impressed by the officer who carried on stoically despite bleeding like a stuck pig.’
      • ‘‘I'm bleeding like a stuck pig,’ I mumbled, walking quickly as fast as I could to the ladies’.’
      • ‘I can't cut my boy's hair, I nicked his ear last time and I felt awful, it was the tiniest cut but he bled like a stuck pig.’
      • ‘Her ear is split in two and she is bleeding like a stuck pig…’
      • ‘You were unconscious, badly injured, half-dead, and bleeding like a stuck pig.’
      • ‘God Jesse… you were bleeding like a stuck pig… Luckily, Damien has the same blood type as you.’
      • ‘He hit me on the top of the head with the gun and I was bleeding like a pig and lost the sight in my left eye from the blood.’
      • ‘The tattoo was done in about an hour, even though I bled like a stuck pig.’
      • ‘He sighed, wearily, and looked up, to assure the person that he was fine, he bled like a pig every day.’
      • ‘The arrow had to cut some big arteries because he bled like a stuck pig.’
  • in pig

    • (of a sow) pregnant.

      • ‘The first indication that a sow is ‘in pig’ is failing to come back in season after being mated.’
      • ‘Some breeders will leave the boar in with the sow until they can feel that the sow is in pig.’
      • ‘A piglet from the porcherie costs FRw 5000 (€10) but the fatted pig can sell for FRw 15000 or a little more if a sow is in pig.’
  • in a pig's eye

    • informal Expressing scornful disbelief at a statement.

      • ‘In a pig's eye is rhyming slang for lie, and usually means Nonsense!’
      • ‘The down-home narrative is folksy and fun to read aloud, particularly Granny's refrain, "In a pig's eye! My, oh, my!"’
  • make a pig of oneself

    • informal Overeat; eat more than one's share.

      • ‘We made our way to the dining room, where Kevin was already making a pig of himself.’
      • ‘Madame however, could not resist the thought of the bread and butter pudding with custard, and made a pig of herself, finishing with a wide smile, while saying, ‘Delicious!’’
      • ‘Excuse me for making a pig of myself, but I've only had a sandwich at the wheel of the car.’
      • ‘It's not all making a pig of yourself, though, with five golden-beached islands just a few miles offshore.’
      • ‘The first side involves Stan making a pig of himself.’
      • ‘I couldn't help but make a pig of myself and eat them by the handful.’
      • ‘Looks like someone's going to make a pig of herself soon.’
      • ‘If I tempt you with ice-cream knowing that you will renege on your diet as a result, am I partly responsible for your making a pig of yourself?’
      • ‘Stella comments that Stanley is making a pig of himself with the greasy food at the table.’
      • ‘If you want to go whole-hog on steak without making a pig of yourself, try Belgian Blue beef.’
      drink too much, eat too much, overeat, drink like a fish, overdrink, be greedy, be immoderate, be intemperate, overindulge oneself, overdo it, not know when to stop, drink to excess, eat to excess, go to excess, gorge, gorge oneself, surfeit, guzzle, feast
      View synonyms
  • make a pig's ear of

    • informal Handle ineptly.

      • ‘There are no defenders but Park still makes a pig's ear of it and Barry saves.’
      • ‘Let's just hope they don't make a pig's ear of it.’
      • ‘While helping out plump, inhibited city accountant Albert with his love life, he makes a pig's ear of his own.’
      • ‘OK, I'm sorry, I've made a pig's ear of your point.’
      • ‘Having said that, you could give the same fellow his choice of angles and he'd still make a pig's ear of it.’
      • ‘Perhaps the one point we agree on is that the present government has made a pig's ear of dealing with asylum applications.’
      • ‘Now they are in danger of making a pig's ear of government policy on health.’
      • ‘It charged councillors with having squandered the windfall receipts from the flotation of the municipally-owned telephone company three years ago and making a pig's ear of its housing policy.’
      • ‘‘Football's a cut-throat industry and you do get criticism when you make a pig's ear of it,’ said Arthur.’
      • ‘Sadly I made a pig's ear of it and had a bit of trouble surfacing.’
      bungle, mess up, make a mess of, botch, spoil, mar, ruin, mishandle, mismanage
      View synonyms
  • a pig in a poke

    • Something that is bought or accepted without knowing its value or seeing it first.

      • ‘I'm afraid I can't offer much information on the state of the company - they haven't spoken with me for ages so it's a bit of a pig in a poke.’
      • ‘To some extent the opposition has bought a pig in a poke here.’
      • ‘Let us hope that they recognise a pig in a poke when it is offered to them.’
      • ‘The former mayor said: ‘People are being asked to vote for a pig in a poke - it is all so uncertain.’’
      • ‘And with a court that's divided 5-4 on so many of those cases, we're not willing to buy a pig in a poke.’
      • ‘I would like to know more about the whole thing and I don't intend voting for a pig in a poke.’
      • ‘Managers sometimes bought a pig in a poke - not fully understanding what they were getting.’
      • ‘For most people, buying an air ticket is buying a pig in a poke.’
      • ‘As far as I can see we're being asked to buy a pig in a poke.’
      • ‘It was obvious to many observers, that when the county council went for the Cocklebury Road site, they bought a pig in a poke.’
  • put lipstick on a pig

    • informal Make superficial changes to something regarded with dislike or disfavor in a fruitless attempt to make it more appealing.

      ‘any attempt to revise the bill would amount to putting lipstick on a pig’
      • ‘I had to put lipstick on a pig.’
      • ‘They call it putting lipstick on a pig because these barracks are so old.’
      • ‘He also said he wants the focus to be on the issues not on, quote, "lipstick on a pig stuff."’
      • ‘No matter how "green" they seem, it's like putting lipstick on a pig – they still can't hide their ugliness.’
      • ‘He likened their effect on the team to "putting lipstick on a pig".’
      • ‘FBI officials say moving its old system online was too costly, akin to "putting lipstick on a pig."’
      • ‘The one GOP congressman compared the changes to "putting lipstick on a pig."’
      • ‘Boos and cheers greeted the announcement in the meeting; one heckler called it 'Lipstick on a pig!'’
      • ‘It's essentially putting lipstick on a pig and you still end up with a bad trade deal at the end of the day.’
      • ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but you can't call it a lady.’
      • ‘We're not trying to sugarcoat things, or put lipstick on a pig, or anything like that.’
  • sweat like a pig

    • informal Sweat profusely.

      • ‘He said it seemed that I had a nightmare because I was sweating like a pig.’
      • ‘I'm wearing shorts and a t-shirt, carrying a backpack, and sweating like a pig.’
      • ‘No, I'm sweating like a pig, can you turn on the air please?’
      • ‘His face is a beetroot and he's sweating like a pig.’
      • ‘It is a non-air-conditioned one, and none of the windows are open, so I'll be sweating like a pig for fifteen minutes.’
      • ‘But what happens is that you put on your nice clothes, then by the time you walk up the 75 steps you are sweating like a pig.’
      • ‘I got there just as the train pulled in and stood in the doorway, sweating like a pig, wishing someone would open a window.’
      • ‘Then I started sweating like a pig on the train because there was no air conditioning and it was in the high 20's.’
      • ‘I only had half an hour before checking in and I was sweating like a pig, so I decided to wait at the hotel.’
      • ‘After ten minutes of this I was sweating like a pig in a sauna, and soon I was aching all over.’
  • squeal like a pig

    • Squeal or yell loudly and shrilly.

      • ‘She jumped back in surprise when the figure squealed like a stuck pig and began to race around the room on all fours, scattering its filth all over the place.’
      • ‘One scene in particular had me squealing like a stuck pig from the awkwardness of it.’
      • ‘Andrew was squealing like a stuck pig after last year's $18 a week rise for the nation's working poor.’
      • ‘All of them, except one who is… um, slightly overweight, jumped into the building through the window, headfirst, while our fat friend was squealing like a stuck pig, ‘I can't climb up!’
      • ‘The chorus mostly natters in a monotone, the soprano squeals like a stuck pig, the percussion instruments gurgle solemnly, the string soloists noodle, and the conductor stands in the middle of it all sending out anguished conductorial signals.’
      • ‘You can't have someone who has been squealing like a stuck pig about these proposals to increase shareholder power chairing the country's largest shareholder.’
      • ‘I moaned about feeling sweaty so he shut me up by turning the hose on me and making me squeal like a stuck pig.’
      • ‘She incessantly talks loudly to herself in high-pitched screeching cartoony voices, makes what I can only describe as ‘squirrel noises,’ and squeals like a stuck pig whenever she gets an e-mail/fax/etc.’
      • ‘The coffee couldn't have been hot enough for him to clutch his throat and squeal like a stuck pig.’
      • ‘The execrable Mr. Cole squeals like a stuck pig when the shoe is on the other foot.’


Middle English: probably from the first element of Old English picbrēd ‘acorn’, literally ‘pig bread’ (i.e. food for pigs).