noun \ˈmilk\

: a white liquid produced by a woman to feed her baby or by female animals to feed their young; especially : milk from cows or goats that is used as food by people

: a white liquid produced by a plant

Full Definition of MILK

a :  a fluid secreted by the mammary glands of females for the nourishment of their young; especially :  cow's milk used as a food by humans
b :  lactation <cows in milk>
:  a liquid resembling milk in appearance: as
a :  the latex of a plant
b :  the juice of a coconut composed of liquid endosperm
c :  the contents of an unripe kernel of grain

Examples of MILK

  1. cheese made from sheep's milk
  2. a glass of low-fat milk

Origin of MILK

Middle English, from Old English meolc, milc; akin to Old High German miluh milk, Old English melcan to milk — more at emulsion
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel

Rhymes with MILK



: to get milk from (an animal)

: to use (something or someone) in a way that helps you unfairly

Full Definition of MILK

transitive verb
a (1) :  to draw milk from the breasts or udder of (2) obsolete :  suckle 2
b :  to draw (milk) from the breast or udder
c :  suckle 1 —used of domestic animals
:  to draw something from as if by milking: as
a :  to induce (a snake) to eject venom
b :  to draw or coerce profit or advantage from illicitly or to an extreme degree :  exploit <milk the joke for all it's worth>
intransitive verb
:  to draw or yield milk

Examples of MILK

  1. greedy landlords milking their tenants of all their money
  2. <unscrupulous people trying to milk the welfare system for all it's worth>

First Known Use of MILK

before 12th century



Definition of MILK

:  giving milk; specifically :  bred or suitable primarily for milk production <milk cows>

First Known Use of MILK

14th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms

apiary, bantam, calico, girth, hogwash, mast, rut


geographical name \ˈmilk\

Definition of MILK

river 625 miles (1006 kilometers) Canada & United States in Alberta & Montana flowing SE into Missouri River


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals to nourish their young. The milk of domesticated animals is also an important food source for humans. Most milk consumed in Western countries is from cows; other important sources include sheep, goats, water buffalo, and camels. Milk is essentially an emulsion of fat and protein in water, along with dissolved sugar, minerals (including calcium and phosphorus), and vitamins, particularly vitamin B complex. Commercially processed cow's milk is commonly enriched with vitamins A and D. Many countries require pasteurization to protect against naturally occurring and artificially introduced microorganisms. Cooling further prevents spoilage (souring and curdling). Fat from whole milk (about 3.5% fat content) can be removed in a separator to produce cream and leave low-fat milk (1–2% fat) or skim milk (0.5% fat). Milk is usually homogenized, forced under high pressure through small openings to distribute the fat evenly. It may also be condensed, evaporated, or dehydrated for preservation and ease of transport. Other dairy products include butter, cheese, and yogurt.


Next Word in the Dictionary: milk–and–water
Previous Word in the Dictionary: milium
All Words Near: milk

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up milk? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).