\ ˈkav How to pronounce calve (audio) , ˈkäv \
calved; calving

Definition of calve

intransitive verb

1 : to give birth to a calf also : to produce offspring
2 of an ice mass : to separate or break so that a part becomes detached

transitive verb

1 : to produce by birth
2 of an ice mass : to let become detached

Examples of calve in a Sentence

The cow calved in the barn.
Recent Examples on the Web Her day typically starts with Smiley checking cows that are calving. Jessica Wetzler, Washington Post, "‘Lost Art’ of the cattle dog still found in the valley," 22 Nov. 2019 The first newborn right whale of the winter calving season has been spotted off the coast of Georgia. USA TODAY, "Utility bill Santa, return of Ceres, Zion path secured: News from around our 50 states," 19 Dec. 2019 While scientists expected calving at Amery, glacial melt does pose a risk to global sea level rise. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "An Iceberg the Size of London Just Broke Off Antarctica, But Scientists Say There's No Cause For Alarm Yet," 1 Oct. 2019 Svalbard is 23,560 square miles of high craggy mountains and icy glaciers that roll over silt and crevasses to calve into the sea., "In Norway, so much beauty — 24 hours a day — and fear of its demise - The Boston Globe," 26 Sep. 2019 That progression includes the flow and retreat of glaciers, large chunks of ice calving off and more, University of Alaska glaciologist Mark Fahestock told the outlet. Fox News, "Alaskan glacier seen shrinking over time in incredible new images," 11 Dec. 2019 Recording the glacier's calving four times a day with a pair of autonomous lasers, dubbed Atlas. Paul Voosen, Science Magazine, "A project to monitor every aspect of a fast-shrinking glacier could hold an answer to an urgent question: How fast will seas rise?," 10 Oct. 2019 The glacier is calving, or shedding ice, which Pierce said slowed responders in reaching the bodies. CBS News, "3 kayakers found dead on Alaskan glacial lake," 31 July 2019 Pierce said the three were found near a section of the glacier that was calving, or breaking, and that authorities are uncertain if the falling blocks of glacier contributed to their deaths. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "3 German tourists found dead near Alaskan glacier," 31 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'calve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of calve

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for calve

Middle English calven, going back to Old English (Anglian) *calfian, (West Saxon) cealfian, derivative of cælf, cealf calf entry 1

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Time Traveler for calve

Time Traveler

The first known use of calve was before the 12th century

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Statistics for calve

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Calve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for calve


How to pronounce calve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of calve

of a cow : to give birth to a calf


\ ˈkav How to pronounce calve (audio) , ˈkäv \
calved; calving

Kids Definition of calve

: to give birth to a calf The cow calved in the barn.

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More from Merriam-Webster on calve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with calve

Spanish Central: Translation of calve

Nglish: Translation of calve for Spanish Speakers

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