Cows

What is the word for a cow that doesn't specify its sex?

The truth is that there is no noun in general use that refers equally to a cow or a bull.

Zoologists use two terms. The first is 'ox', which is often restricted to animals of the genus Bos (i.e. the wild cattle - gaur, banteng, yak, aurochs, and kouprey - as well as domestic cattle). In popular use, though, the word 'ox' often refers to a castrated male animal, so that isn't a perfect solution. The second zoological term is 'bovine',  which is used as a noun to refer to any animal of the wider group that comprises cattle, buffaloes, and bison. But this would be a strange choice in most general contexts.

 

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