Definition of calve in English:


Line breaks: calve
Pronunciation: /kɑːv


  • 1 [no object] (Of cows and certain other large animals) give birth to a calf: Galloway cows have wide pelvises and calve easily (as noun calving) calving takes place in the spring
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    • We are not aware of similar data reported for cows calving during different seasons of the year.
    • Cows calved from February 15 to March 20 at the Eastern Colorado Research Center.
    • Unlike on most dairy farms, all the cows calve at the same time of year, and the cows are not milked in wintertime.
  • 1.1 [with object] (Of a person) help (a cow) give birth to a calf: people often used to come for him to help calve their cows
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    • Cows and newly calved heifers are immune to gutworms and very rarely show any signs of infection.
    • And he claims to have lost 37 calves during the winter, when he could not be present during complicated deliveries, because he was calving elsewhere.
    • Very often those calved heifers fail to go back in calf easily and become late calvers the following season.
  • 2 [with object] (Of an iceberg or glacier) split and shed (a smaller mass of ice): glaciers were calving icebergs directly into the sea
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    • Out past a cruising leopard seal, the distant Marr Glacier calves another berg, the boom echoing across the water.
    • The glacier frequently calves huge chunks of ice into the Copper River.
    • It has shelves that calve big icebergs all the time, and we've tracked a lot of bergs from there.
  • 2.1 [no object] (Of a mass of ice) split off from an iceberg or glacier: ice calved off a glacier with a loud explosive crumble
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    • They have calved off the Grey Glacier and been blown along the lake by the wind.
    • Every now and then a massive block of ice calved off into the water.
    • They were bruised and bloodied, but at least they had prevented a huge piece of the ice-shelf from being calved off into the ocean.


Old English calfian, from cælf 'calf'.

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