Definition of pig in English:

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Pronunciation: /pɪɡ/


Image of pig
1An omnivorous domesticated hoofed mammal with sparse bristly hair and a flat snout for rooting in the soil, kept for its meat.
  • Sus domesticus, 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.
Example sentences
  • With the advent of farming in the Neolithic, a number of animal species were domesticated, starting with sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle.
  • Remember to stress that they cannot keep the pot-bellied pig.
  • The telling factor could be if the disease gets into pig herds.
hog, boar, sow, porker, swine, piglet
children's word piggy
rare baconer, cutter, grunter
1.1A wild animal of the pig family; a hog.
Example sentences
  • We enjoy long walks on the trails searching for the perfect walking stick, tracking deer, wild pigs and other animals.
  • From what scientists can tell, their preferred diet is deer and wild pigs called peccaries.
  • Ecologically, they range from forest dwellers, such as wild pigs and chevrotains, to dominant large herbivores on grasslands.
1.2North American A young pig; a piglet.
Example sentences
  • Young pigs are kept in semi-darkness to minimise fighting and aggression caused through frustration due to their appalling conditions.
  • For example, younger grower pigs have a high rate of bone growth and therefore have a higher calcium and phosphorus requirement.
  • Body tissues with the highest rate of formation in younger pigs are bone and muscle.
1.3 [mass noun] The flesh of a pig as food.
Example sentences
  • In fact we can buy a ranch and eat suckling pig, if food is what bothers you and dress up for the carnival.
  • 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.
  • Pork and other pig products - ham, bacon, and sausages - are staples of the Castilian diet.
2 informal A greedy, dirty, or unpleasant person: I bet he’s scoffed them all, greedy pig
More example sentences
  • Maybe I'm a chauvinist pig, but you know, the women in my life have never given me any reason to think otherwise.
  • It's in my nature to be a greedy fat-sucking pig.
  • Almost down to his last low, although this time round, he had been such a greedy pig.
glutton, guzzler, gobbler, gorger, gourmand, gourmandizer, binge eater
informal greedy pig, hog, greedy guts, guts
British informal gannet
Northern Irish informal gorb
brute, monster, devil;
scoundrel, rogue, wretch
informal bastard, beast, louse, swine, rat, son of a bitch, s.o.b., low life
British informal toerag, scrote
informal, dated bounder, rotter, heel, stinker, blighter
dated cad
vulgar slang shit, sod, bugger
3 derogatory A police officer: the pigs! the pigs! you’ll never take me alive, copper!
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • All police are pigs because they make the conscious decision to join an organization which is, basically, legal GANGSTERISM.
4An oblong mass of iron or lead from a smelting furnace. See also pig iron.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • In order to make malleable wrought iron, the iron pigs were reheated and forged into red hot iron masses called blooms.
  • Lead ore, pig lead, timber and chert stones from Flintshire were the other significant cargoes.
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.
Example sentences
  • I thought the miniature pig laser tests we did for NASA on the ISS were crazy.
  • Depending upon function, different pig designs are used.
  • The pig is forced down the pipeline by hydrostatic or pneumatic pressure that is applied behind the pig.

verb (pigs, pigging, pigged)

[no object]
1 informal Gorge oneself with food: lovesick people pig out on chocolate
More example sentences
  • Any more of this Zen acceptance stuff and I'd sit about all day blissfully pigging out on junk food and getting obese.
  • We shared traditional Bulgarian, Russian, and American foods, and pigged out for four hours.
  • 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.
2 informal Crowd together with other people in disorderly or dirty conditions: he didn’t approve of the proposal to pig it in the studio
More example sentences
  • In Bolton they pigged it in a wretched artisans' dwelling in Davenport Street. The project was none the less immensely successful.
  • 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.
  • Having no offer of beds, I returned to the schooner, and we pigged it out in the least miserable way we could.
3(Of a sow) give birth to piglets; farrow.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • The other sow pigged, and has raised a lovely litter of 6.
  • If their sow pigged or their hens breed chickens, they cannot afford to eat them but must sell them to make their rent.
4Operate a pig within an oil or gas pipeline: (as noun pigging) they will carry out all trenching and pigging
More example sentences
  • If the pipeline is to be cleaned mechanically or "pigged" the pipeline size may dictate the minimum valve bore or the valve configuration.
  • The purpose of operational pigging is to obtain and maintain efficiency of the pipeline to be pigged.
  • 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.



bleed like a (stuck) pig

Bleed copiously.
Example sentences
  • Her ear is split in two and she is bleeding like a stuck pig…
  • 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.
  • ‘I'm bleeding like a stuck pig,’ I mumbled, walking quickly as fast as I could to the ladies’.

in pig

(Of a sow) pregnant.
Example sentences
  • 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, chiefly North American Expressing scornful disbelief at a statement: ‘Under other circumstances, I think we could have been friends.’ ‘In a pig’s eye,’ Susan thought
More example sentences
  • 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: we made pigs of ourselves, with too many sweets
More example sentences
  • 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?
  • 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.

make a pig's ear of

British informal Handle ineptly: only adults make a pig’s ear of it when they start fishing
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Now they are in danger of making a pig's ear of government policy on health.
  • ‘Football's a cut-throat industry and you do get criticism when you make a pig's ear of it,’ said Arthur.
bungle, mess up, make a mess of, botch, spoil, mar, ruin, mishandle, mismanage
informal make a hash of, muff, fluff, foul up, screw up, louse up, bitch up, blow, foozle
British informal make a muck of, cock up, make a Horlicks of
North American informal flub, goof up, bobble
vulgar slang fuck up, bugger up, balls up, bollix up

on the pig's back

Irish informal Living a life of ease and luxury; in a very fortunate situation.
Example sentences
  • Those fortunate ones who own such ground are sitting on the pig's back, or more correctly on a veritable goldmine.
  • The bookmaking company is also on the pig's back, having donated all profits from the betting to the appeal.
  • He's on the pig's back, sure he'll top the poll.

pig in the middle

Pronunciation: /ˌpɪɡ ɪn ðə ˈmɪd(ə)l/

a pig in a poke

Something that is bought or accepted without first being seen or assessed: the unwary were apt to buy a pig in the poke
More example sentences
  • It was obvious to many observers, that when the county council went for the Cocklebury Road site, they bought a pig in a poke.
  • As far as I can see we're being asked to buy a pig in a poke.
  • For most people, buying an air ticket is buying a pig in a poke.

pig in the python

A sharp statistical increase represented as a bulge in an otherwise level pattern, used especially with reference to the baby-boom generation regarded as having a gradual effect on consumer spending, society, etc. as they grow older.
From the shape of such an increase being likened to that of a pig swallowed by a python
Example sentences
  • The current annual deficit of $1.5 trillion does not even address the "pig in the python," baby boomer, demographic squeeze on resources that looms straight ahead.
  • Boomers are still the pig in the python of the nation's population and, for keen-eyed investors, the cohort to watch.

a pig of a ——

British informal Used to describe something unpleasant or difficult: it’s a pig of a job
More example sentences
  • And I know I've got to add the awards section into the navigation too - that'll be a pig of a job, for one day when I'm bored comatose or something.
  • Some farmers won't let it be a pig of a Christmas in more ways than one.
  • Pinning everything on the Australian Open, he lost in the first round in a pig of a match.

pigs might (or can) fly

British Used ironically to express disbelief: ‘Maybe he’s trying to change.’ ‘And maybe pigs can fly.’
More example sentences
  • As the Police are to get their 76 per cent increase, maybe we will see a local bobby walking the beat and incidents such as these would be totally avoidable, then again pigs might fly.
  • Today was exactly like yesterday and to think tomorrow will be any different is the hope that pigs might fly.
  • The Truth might be there - undeniable and incontrovertible - but there'll still be people who'll say the world is flat, that the moon is made of green cheese and that pigs can fly.

put lipstick on a pig

informal, chiefly US Make superficial changes to something generally regarded with dislike or disfavour in a fruitless attempt to make it more appealing: you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig any attempt to revise the bill would amount to putting lipstick on a pig
More example sentences
  • He also said he wants the focus to be on the issues not on, quote, "lipstick on a pig stuff."
  • 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."

squeal (or yell) like a stuck pig

Squeal or yell loudly and shrilly.
Example sentences
  • The execrable Mr. Cole squeals like a stuck pig when the shoe is on the other foot.
  • 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!
  • 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.

sweat like a pig

informal Sweat profusely: this priest outfit makes you sweat like a pig
More example sentences
  • 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.



Example sentences
  • For the next 80 million years, synapsids evolved into various wolflike and bearlike predators, as well as into an array of peculiar piglike herbivores.
  • Too, this unique region also hosts an impressive array of other wildlife, including blacktail prairie dogs, gray foxes, and piglike javelinas.
  • The most intriguing thing about him were his small, piglike eyes that were nearly swallowed up by the large brow on his pudgy face.


Example sentences
  • I went down each morning to say my hellos to the pigs and the people: cute little wee black piglings and mighty great boars and snufflers.


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

  • The word pig appears in Old English only once, the usual word being swine. In the Middle Ages pig at first meant specifically ‘a young pig’, as it still does in North America. Observations such as pigs might fly had a 17th-century parallel in pigs fly with their tails forward. An early user of the modern form was Lewis Carroll in 1865 in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: ‘ “I've a right to think,” said Alice sharply…“Just about as much right,” said the Duchess, “as pigs have to fly.” ’ In a pig in a poke, poke (Middle English) means ‘a small sack or bag’, now found mainly in Scottish English. The British phrase to make a pig's ear out of, ‘to handle ineptly’, probably derives from the proverb you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, recorded from the 16th century. In the children's game pig (or piggy) in the middle, first recorded in the Folk-Lore Journal of 1887, two people throw a ball to each other while a third tries to intercept it. This is behind the use of pig in the middle for a person who is in an awkward situation between two others. Piggyback has been around since the mid 16th century, but the origin of the expression has been lost. Early forms tend to be something like ‘pick-a-pack’ which seems to have been changed by folk etymology to the form we now have. See also hog

Words that rhyme with pig

big, brig, dig, fig, gig, grig, jig, lig, prig, rig, snig, sprig, swig, tig, trig, twig, Whig, wig

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pig

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