\ 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

The elephant calves bridled at cow’s milk, but Ms. Sheldrick — after successfully devising a formula for baby rhinos — eventually landed on an ambrosia-like mixture that incorporated coconut oil. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Daphne Sheldrick, who created an elephant orphanage in Kenya, dies at 83," 15 Apr. 2018 Mendenhall Lake and Glacier: Time to get up close — but not too close, please — to some of Juneau's prettiest nature sculptures: the icebergs that float around in Mendenhall Lake and the mama that calved them — Mendenhall Glacier. Jenna Schnuer, Anchorage Daily News, "Visiting Juneau is a capital idea," 3 May 2018 In theory, if given enough time, the caribou might eventually adjust as natural selection takes its course and favors individuals that calve earlier. New York Times, "5 Plants and Animals Utterly Confused by Climate Change," 4 Apr. 2018 Less than an hour south of Anchorage in the ski community of Girdwood, Alpine Air will fly you well above the Mount Alyeska tram to land on glaciers, or out to Prince William Sound to spot calving glacial ice. Mike Campbell, Anchorage Daily News, "The best way to see Alaska: By air," 2 May 2018 In the above video, a small calving event—where a piece of the iceberg breaks off the larger whole—triggers some sizable waves, although these waves do not threaten the shore. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Giant Iceberg Threatens Entire Greenland Village," 19 July 2018 Of special concern is why so few right whales are reproducing, with only five whales calving last year and none this year, said Mayo, who was not involved in the research. David Sharp, The Seattle Times, "Study: Blowhole spray can provide fast data on whale health," 17 July 2018 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

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

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 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

Comments on calve

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