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Webster 1913 Edition


Cow

Cow

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Cows
(kouz); old pl.
Kine
(kīn)
.
[OE.
cu
,
cou
, AS.
cū
; akin to D.
koe
, G.
kuh
, OHG.
kuo
, Icel.
kȳr
, Dan. & Sw.
ko
, L.
bos
ox, cow, Gr.
βοῦς
, Skr.
gō
. √223. Cf.
Beef
,
Bovine
,
Bucolic
,
Butter
,
Nylghau
.]
1.
The mature female of bovine animals.
2.
The female of certain large mammals, as whales, seals, etc.

Cow

(kou)
,
Noun.
[See
Cowl
a hood.]
A chimney cap; a cowl

Cow

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Cowed
(koud)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Cowing
.]
[Cf. Icel.
kuga
, Sw.
kufva
to check, subdue, Dan.
kue
. Cf.
Cuff
,
Verb.
T.
]
To depress with fear; to daunt the spirits or courage of; to overawe.
To vanquish a people already
cowed
.
Shakespeare
THe French king was
cowed
.
J. R. Green.

Cow

,
Noun.
[Prob. from same root as
cow
, v. t.]
(Mining)
A wedge, or brake, to check the motion of a machine or car; a chock.
Knight.

Webster 1828 Edition


Cow

COW

,
Noun.
plu.
cows; old plu. kine. The female of the bovine genus of animals; a quadruped with cloven hoofs, whose milk furnishes an abundance of food and profit to the farmer.
Sea-cow, the Manatus, a species of the Trichechus. [See Sea-cow.]

COW

,
Verb.
T.
To depress with fear; to sink the spirits or courage; to oppress with habitual timidity.

Definition 2022


cow

cow

See also: COW

English

A cow (sense 1)

Noun

cow (plural cows or cattle or kine) (see usage notes)

  1. (properly) An adult female of the species Bos taurus that has calved.
  2. (formerly inexact but now common) Any member of the species Bos taurus regardless of sex or age, including bulls and calves.
  3. (uncommon) Beef: the meat of cattle as food.
  4. (uncommon) Any bovines or bovids generally, including yaks, buffalo, &c.
  5. (biology) A female member of other large species of mammal, including the bovines, moose, whales, seals, hippos, rhinos, manatees, and elephants.
  6. (derogatory, informal) A woman considered unpleasant in some way, particularly one considered nasty, stupid, fat, lazy, or difficult.
    • 1933, George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London, Chapter XXXII,
      [] the worst insult to a woman, either in London or Paris, is "cow"; a name which might even be a compliment, for cows are among the most likeable of animals.
    • 1990, House of Cards, Season 1, Episode 2:
      Greville Preston: You've been set up, you silly cow. Now, don't let me hear any more about this unless you have absolute stand-up-in-court proof it's kosher...
      Mattie Storin: Pig.
  7. (mining) A chock: a wedge or brake used to stop a machine or car.
Usage notes

The plural cows is the normal plural for multiple individuals, while cattle is used in a more collective sense. The umlaut plurals ky, kye and kine are archaic or dialectal, and are not in common use.

Synonyms
Antonyms
  • (female domesticated ox or other bovine): bull (male, uncastrated), ox or steer (male, castrated), heifer (female, immature)
Derived terms
Translations

See also

Etymology 2

Probably from Old Norse kúga (to oppress) (whence also Danish and Norwegian kue, Swedish kuva); compare Icelandic kúfa (to set on top) and Faroese kúga (to oppress).

Verb

cow (third-person singular simple present cows, present participle cowing, simple past and past participle cowed)

  1. (transitive) To intimidate; to daunt the spirits or courage of. Found primarily in the passive voice.
    Con artists are not cowed by the law.
    • Shakespeare
      To vanquish a people already cowed.
Translations

Etymology 3

Noun

cow (plural cows)

  1. (Britain, dialect) A chimney cowl.
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
      Who could live to gaze from day to day on bricks and slates, who had once felt the influence of a scene like this? Who could continue to exist, where there are no cows but the cows on the chimneypots; nothing redolent of Pan but pan-tiles; []

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