There are 2 definitions of cow in English:

cow1

Line breaks: cow
Pronunciation: /kaʊ
 
/

noun

1A fully grown female animal of a domesticated breed of ox, kept to produce milk or beef: a dairy cow
More example sentences
  • When rBGH gets injected into dairy cows, milk production increases by as much as 10-15%.
  • The dairy needs 130,000 cows to provide enough milk every year.
  • This genetically modified hormone was designed to increase milk production in dairy cows.
1.1(Loosely) a domestic bovine animal, regardless of sex or age.
More example sentences
  • A close relative of the domestic cow, Banteng have curvy horns and white ‘stockings’ on their legs.
  • In this regard it should be noted that cows slaughtered under the Scheme account for 31% of the total.
  • Conventional farmers feed dairy and beef cows grain and corn and sometimes cow by-products to increase the protein in their diet.
1.2(In farming) a female domestic bovine animal which has borne more than one calf. Compare with heifer.
More example sentences
  • Suckler cows with calves will also benefit from early turnout provided the fields are sheltered and dry and you take steps to prevent tetany.
  • Heifers also meet with good demand and the trade for suckler cows and calves was ‘exceptional’.
  • For suckler cows with calves, the biggest risk now is grass tetany.
1.3The female of certain other large animals, for example elephant, rhinoceros, whale, or seal.
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • A handler was killed by an elephant cow which was being used on a film set in Broederstroom on Sunday.
  • While elephants are indisputably social animals the social lives of males and females - bulls and cows - may be contrasted.
2 informal An unpleasant or disliked woman.
More example sentences
  • 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.
2.1Australian/NZ An unpleasant person or thing.
More example sentences
  • Why one of the silly cows didn't call me on Tuesday to ask where I was is beyond me.
  • In my experience, all women with hyphenated names are cows by default, but Emma-Kate was just terrible.
  • The 20 babes being absolute cows to each other is unedifying for all.

Phrases

have a cow

North American informal Become angry, excited, or agitated: don’t have a cow—it’s no big deal
More example sentences
  • People would, well, have a cow, and for good reason.
  • I'm afraid Mr. Napper is going to come across some of it and 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!

till the cows come home

informal For an indefinitely long time: those two could talk till the cows came home
More example sentences
  • I can micro-multi-task till the cows come home.
  • We may disapprove till the cows come home, it won't alter that fact.
  • We could auction these 2200 jobs till the cows come home, but it will be totally futile.

Origin

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

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Word of the day punctum
Pronunciation: ˈpʌŋ(k)təm
noun
a small, distinct point

There are 2 definitions of cow in English:

cow2

Line breaks: cow
Pronunciation: /kaʊ
 
/

verb

[with object]
Cause (someone) to submit to one’s wishes by intimidation: the intellectuals had been cowed into silence
More example sentences
  • But we have reached a frightening turning point if artists are cowed into silence by violence and threats.
  • Would we do it if we were not cowed by the threat of a US backlash?
  • Garang had a broad impassive face; he cultivated a ponderous dignity that often cowed his opponents.
Synonyms
intimidate, daunt, browbeat, bully, badger, dragoon, bludgeon, tyrannize, overawe, awe, dismay, dishearten, unnerve, subdue, scare, terrorize, frighten, petrify

Origin

late 16th century: probably from Old Norse kúga 'oppress'.

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