cow

noun
\ˈkau̇ \

Definition of cow 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the mature female of cattle (genus Bos)

b : the mature female of various usually large animals (such as an elephant, whale, or moose)

2 : a domestic bovine animal regardless of sex or age

cow

verb
cowed; cowing; cows

Definition of cow (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to destroy the resolve or courage of also : to bring to a state or an action by intimidation used with into … like too many Asian armies, adept at cowing a population into feeding them … — Edward Lansdale

Illustration of cow

Illustration of cow

Noun

cow 1a: 1 hoof, 2 pastern, 3 dewclaw, 4 switch, 5 hock, 6 rear udder, 7 flank, 8 thigh, 9 tail, 10 pinbone, 11 tail head, 12 thurl, 13 hip, 14 barrel, 15 ribs, 16 crops, 17 withers, 18 heart girth, 19 neck, 20 horn, 21 poll, 22 forehead, 23 bridge of nose, 24 muzzle, 25 jaw, 26 throat, 27 point of shoulder, 28 dewlap, 29 point of elbow, 30 brisket, 31 chest floor, 32 knee, 33 milk well, 34 milk vein, 35 fore udder, 36 teats, 37 rump, 38 loin

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from cow

Noun

cowy \ˈkau̇-ē \ adjective

Verb

cowedly \ˈkau̇(-ə)d-lē \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for cow

Verb

intimidate, cow, bulldoze, bully, browbeat mean to frighten into submission. intimidate implies inducing fear or a sense of inferiority into another. intimidated by so many other bright freshmen cow implies reduction to a state where the spirit is broken or all courage is lost. not at all cowed by the odds against making it in show business bulldoze implies an intimidating or an overcoming of resistance usually by urgings, demands, or threats. bulldozed the city council into approving the plan bully implies intimidation through threats, insults, or aggressive behavior. bullied into giving up their lunch money browbeat implies a cowing through arrogant, scornful, or contemptuous treatment. browbeat the witness into a contradiction

Examples of cow in a Sentence

Noun

The cows need to be milked twice a day.

Verb

I refuse to be cowed by their threats. a sharp glare cowed the child into being quiet
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Frozen Gold New Smyrna Beach, Florida Look, hipster places that source milk from cows that only listen to the National and other underground bands have their place. Ac Shilton, Outside Online, "The Best Ice Cream in the U.S.," 5 July 2018 The interior of the door is a sycamore-walnut veneer and the seats are covered in diamond-quilted, semi-aniline leather all sourced from a single, century-old tannery (presumably from cows that were lovingly killed). Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "Got $360K burning a hole in your pocket? Check out the Range Rover SV Coupe," 16 June 2018 Milk from the cows goes into a tanker within two minutes. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Oakridge Dairy A Model Of Efficiency," 8 May 2018 They may actually have been used to hold straight-from-the-cow milk, fish for crabs or, in the days before Google, to store library index cards. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A.’s doors, windows, hardware from old homes finding new lives," 4 May 2018 These include poisonous methane emissions from cows that accelerate climate change and higher health care costs associated with unhealthy diets, which are ultimately paid for by society. Kenny Torrella, Fortune, "Commentary: Why It’s Time for America to Tax Meat," 20 Feb. 2018 After all, a National Dairy Council survey last year showed that a depressing number of Americans think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Taysha Murtaugh, Woman's Day, "'Do Bunnies Lay Eggs?' Is an Actual Question People Ask Google," 15 Feb. 2018 Wagyu is one of the most exclusive and expensive cuts of beef, derived from Japanese cows and known for melting in your mouth with tenderness and fat. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Gordon Ramsay Is So Beyond Done With These 3 Popular Food Trends," 29 Jan. 2018 Curtis Coombs took ownership of his first cow at 10. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Gardeners can go from OK to superb with the help of these websites," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Far from being cowed by the brutal murder of Jan Kuciak, a journalist at Aktuality, Slovakia’s doughty investigative reporters step up their game. The Economist, "A struggle between authoritarians and liberals in the heart of Europe," 26 May 2018 Elsewhere, his opponents cried foul with accusations of an unjust race, saying Erdogan’s party had the unfair backing of the state and the opposition was cowed by emergency laws. Billy Perrigo, Time, "What Erdogan’s Election Victory Means For Turkey’s Future," 25 June 2018 Together, the Swiss and the Spaniard have ruled for the better part of the past 15 years, cowing all challengers while making their genial domination something well worth cheering for—those plucky underdogs be damned. Andrew Lawrence, The Atlantic, "What’s Going on With Novak Djokovic?," 30 June 2018 That same sort of conciliatory approach toward Mr. Putin would backfire in light of the indictments, making Mr. Trump look cowed, some analysts said. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Russian Agents’ Indictment Raises Stakes Ahead of Trump-Putin Summit," 13 July 2018 Merkel, who leads Europe's largest economy, said the president's tough talk on trade would not cow European powers. NBC News, "Germany's Merkel says Trump G-7 tweets are 'a little depressing'," 11 June 2018 And Democrats, cowed by years of anti-debt, tax-and-spend messaging, pay regular lip service to debt reduction. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Howard Schultz’s Third Way," 6 June 2018 Trump had utterly cowed the league’s owners into banning protests against police brutality, and had achieved at least some success in casting the players as unpatriotic. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Going to Lose His War on Football," 5 June 2018 The risks: New sanctions will hurt Iran’s economy, which could cow Iran into a more subservient state. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The week’s 4 biggest political stories, explained," 11 May 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cow

Noun

Middle English cou, from Old English ; akin to Old High German kuo cow, Latin bos head of cattle, Greek bous, Sanskrit go

Verb

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish kue to subdue

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Statistics for cow

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cow

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

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More Definitions for cow

cow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cow

: to make (someone) too afraid to do something

cow

noun
\ˈkau̇ \

Kids Definition of cow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the adult female of cattle or of any of various other large animals (as moose or seals)

cow

verb
cowed; cowing

Kids Definition of cow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make afraid They were cowed by threats.

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