plural noun
cat·tle | \ ˈka-tᵊl \

Definition of cattle 

1 : domesticated quadrupeds held as property or raised for use specifically : bovine animals on a farm or ranch

2 : human beings especially en masse

Examples of cattle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The son of farmers, James William Middelton was born in Aberdeen and raised on his family’s cattle farm. Frederick N. Rasmussen,, "James W. 'Bill' Middelton, former bank president and investment banker, dies," 13 July 2018 Permanent exhibits showcase General Sam Houston as President of the Republic of Texas, and photographs, videos and items show the history of the area's cattle, timber, and oil industries. State Senator Robert Nichols, Houston Chronicle, "Nichols: Comptroller hoping to reconnect Texans with unclaimed property," 29 June 2018 Founded in 1973, Embrapa made the cerrado’s acidic soils hospitable to maize, soyabean and cattle, and created types of crops and livestock that could thrive in such climes. The Economist, "Tough times for Embrapa, a jewel of Brazilian innovation," 28 June 2018 Unlike cattle, beans don’t exude methane gas, causing global warming and ruining the environment. John Kass,, "What not to get dad for Father's Day," 15 June 2018 Young is a lifelong English farmer, principally of cattle, who decided to commemorate her experiences with Fat Hat, Wizzie, Black Araminta, the Bishop of Durham, and their many friends and relations on Gloucestershire's Kite’s Nest Farm. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "The Secret Life of Cows," 15 June 2018 With more than a million cattle grazing in the state, on both public and private land, conflict over livestock loses to the apex predators was nearly inevitable. Kale Williams,, "Oregon wolves: by the numbers," 11 June 2018 The property was sold last year to Caldwell Development LLC and is being used to house cattle, said Sam Booth, executive director of Shelby County's Plan Commission. Jordyn Hermani, Indianapolis Star, "Treehouse resort project fails to get off the ground," 11 June 2018 The original herd of six has grown into more than 100 Black Angus cattle, all who enjoy a natural salad bar of more than 20 different grasses. Terri Milligan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A better wurst? Organic Wisconsin brats are ready for your summer grill," 22 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cattle.' 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 cattle

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cattle

Middle English catel, from Anglo-French katil, chatel personal property, from Medieval Latin capitale, from Latin, neuter of capitalis of the head — more at capital

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Phrases Related to cattle

cattle grid

Statistics for cattle

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for cattle

The first known use of cattle was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for cattle



English Language Learners Definition of cattle

: cows, bulls, or steers that are kept on a farm or ranch for meat or milk


cat·tle | \ ˈka-tᵊl \
plural cattle

Kids Definition of cattle

: domestic animals with four feet and especially cows, bulls, and calves

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Comments on cattle

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


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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