plural noun
cat·​tle | \ ˈka-tᵊl How to pronounce cattle (audio) \

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

Billings: Federal data shows that ranchers in the state lost more than 37,000 cattle last winter when heavy snow piled up and lingered. USA TODAY, "‘Lorax’ tree legend, butter Elmo, meth squirrel: News from around our 50 states," 19 June 2019 Built in 1920, the brick building is primarily used during the State Fair for exhibits where people can see cattle up close. Zekriah Chaudhry, Twin Cities, "Minnesota State Fair rushes to repair snow-collapsed cattle barn roof by opening day," 14 June 2019 Pass through a narrow gorge into a spectacular hidden valley, used by the MacDonalds to conceal cattle from rival clan raiders. National Geographic, "Scotland Private Expedition," 12 June 2019 Before graduating from Ramona High School in 1980, Greene was active in showing cattle as an FFA member, and her brother Scott Richeson was involved in the Ramona Paisanos 4-H Club. Ramona Sentinel, "Community Profile: Staci Greene cares for donkeys, mules in need of homes," 11 June 2019 And a few years later, lightning struck wire fencing in Montevideo, Uruguay, killing 52 of the cattle inside. Tonya Alanez,, "Two giraffes killed by lightning at Lion Country Safari," 11 June 2019 The family cattle are penned for the day and a serpentine of fairways and greens are carved into the rolling, bumpy prairie, with distances ranging from 130 to 400 yards. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "For Broncos rookie Dalton Risner, every Father’s Day is a classic," 9 June 2019 Environmentalists consider human activities to be the most serious threat facing their reintroduction, but ranchers in areas where the wolves roam say their livelihood is at risk, arguing that the wolves kill cattle and trespass on their property. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "Endangered Mexican gray wolf population boosted by 6 pups at Phoenix Zoo," 5 June 2019 The park focused on the contributions of those cowboys who worked for the Jones-Ryon-Davis-George families at the 1930's George cattle complex. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "George Ranch Historical Park plans first Sensory-Friendly Day," 12 Apr. 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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Statistics for cattle

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce cattle (audio) \
plural cattle

Kids Definition of cattle

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on cattle

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cattle

Spanish Central: Translation of cattle

Nglish: Translation of cattle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cattle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cattle

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