\ˈkav, 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

While that's happening, tall and thing icebergs called pinnacle bergs calve off and flip upside down. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "A Stunning Video of a Greenland Iceberg Collapse," 10 July 2018 The Nelchina caribou are just now beginning to cross the Richardson Highway north of Sourdough en route to the spring calving grounds in the Talkeetna Mountains. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "It’s still winter in the Alaska Range, which is both good and bad," 13 May 2018 Various governmental organizations would determine the kill zones prior to calving season, which typically runs from February to March. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Black vultures are eating cows alive. But it's difficult to legally kill the birds.," 13 July 2018 Ludovico even played the piece live on Arctic waters, as glaciers calved in the distance. Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle, "Ludovico: The piano’s quiet rock star talks about his first Houston concert," 11 July 2018 But that kind of documentation is essential to understanding—and modeling—how and why glaciers calve. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "A Time-Lapsed Glacier Collapse Is the Saddest Science Lesson," 9 July 2018 Speakers beneath the floor rumble with thunderous sounds of glaciers calving, like a keening mammoth. Cate Mcquaid,, "An otherworldy Arctic landscape, in a beautiful and troubling exhibit," 9 May 2018 The two-story house, built in 2002, has four bedrooms, three baths and 4,700 square feet ($1,383 a square foot) plus a pond, shop, calving barn, corral and mint distillery. Janet Eastman,, "The most expensive homes in each of Oregon's counties (photos)," 12 June 2018 And according to recent reports from the Washington Post, elk attacks are on the rise amid the 2018 calving season. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "Your chances of hitting a deer in Georgia are greater than you think," 7 June 2018

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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Statistics for calve

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for calve

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

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More Definitions for calve



English Language Learners Definition of calve

of a cow : to give birth to a calf


\ˈkav, 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

See words that rhyme with calve

Spanish Central: Translation of calve

Nglish: Translation of calve for Spanish Speakers

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