Definition of cattle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkat(ə)l/

plural noun

1Large ruminant animals with horns and cloven hoofs, domesticated for meat or milk, or as beasts of burden; cows and oxen.
  • Bos taurus (including the zebu, B. indicus), family Bovidae; descended from the extinct aurochs.
Example sentences
  • Milk yield of milch cattle has been severely affected because of scarcity of fodder.
  • Death is not usual but animals cease gaining weight and milk production in dairy cattle falls.
  • They also kept sheep, goats and cattle to add milk, butter, cheese and meat to their diet.
cows, bovines, oxen, bulls;
stock, livestock
archaic neat, kine
2Animals of a group related to domestic cattle, including yak, bison, and buffaloes.
  • Tribe Bovini, family Bovidae (the cattle family): four genera, in particular Bos. The cattle family also includes the sheep, goats, goat-antelopes, and antelopes.
Example sentences
  • Cereal collecting soon gave way to cereal cultivation and the domestication of sheep and cattle.



Example sentences
  • In the facades of run-down buildings and the cattle-like movement of market-goers, Godard illumines the sense of defeat and disillusionment here.
  • Ben, framed against the bare white wall behind him, stares straight ahead and is otherwise motionless as he is carried, cattle-like, along by the conveyor belt.
  • Although usually implemented when new call centre staff are herded cattle-like into an organisation, such group activities are used in many other group focus interviews as well.


Middle English (also denoting personal property or wealth): from Anglo-Norman French catel, variant of Old French chatel (see chattel).

  • chattel from Middle English:

    A chattel, now often used in legal contexts as in goods and chattels, is ‘a personal possession’. The source of the word is Old French chatel, from medieval Latin capitale, from Latin capitalis ‘of the head’, from caput ‘head’ ( see capital). From the same word comes cattle (Middle English). At first it was an alternative form of chattel, but one which could also be used specifically for livestock. It started to be used specifically for cows and similar animals in the mid 16th century.

Words that rhyme with cattle

battle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle, tattle

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: cat¦tle

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