\ ˈkau̇ How to pronounce cow (audio) \

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
3 chiefly British, informal : a woman who is stupid or annoying Liesel was on such a high that she felt indestructible. "I said," she beamed, "stupid cow," and she didn't have to wait a single moment for the teacher's hand to slap her.— Markus Zusak


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


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

Other Words from cow


cowy \ ˈkau̇-​ē How to pronounce cow (audio) \ adjective


cowedly \ ˈkau̇(-​ə)d-​lē How to pronounce cow (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for cow


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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Interestingly, cheese and yogurt are not associated with breakouts, but cow's milk, especially skim milk, are associated with breakouts. Tatjana Freund, ELLE, 27 July 2022 On one trip, local villagers taught her how to use cow's milk to make Wagashi -- a soft, mild cheese. Jackie Prager, CNN, 22 July 2022 Dust flies from horses’ hoofs, people shout cheers and wave hats, and the trio targets a calf at the side and cuts off the young cow from its siblings, working it toward the chute. Eric Jay Toll, Chicago Tribune, 13 July 2022 The cow is one of a handful of captivating puppet designs by James Ortiz. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 July 2022 The cow munches on a snack dispensed by the machine as an incentive to cooperate. Rick Barrett, Journal Sentinel, 6 July 2022 Huge carcasses spin around the loud, humid factory while USDA inspectors in white lab coats cut into the occasional cow, pulling them out of production at the slightest hint of disease. Lizzy Saxe, Forbes, 18 May 2022 For children over 6 months, whole cow’s milk can be safe for a brief period of time. Christine Clarridge, Anchorage Daily News, 18 May 2022 Taurus, the cutest cow, is ruled by Venus, the planet of beauty and abundance. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the hostile reception didn’t cow the speakers, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Jack Wolfsohn, National Review, 14 June 2022 All three formulas the White House has prioritized—the two from Nestlé and one from Gerber—are all hypoallergenic formulas for children who are allergic to cow’s milk. Andrew Marquardt, Fortune, 23 May 2022 About 70,000 children in the U.S. are allergic to cow milk, Vilsack said. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, 22 May 2022 The formulas — Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junior, and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA — are all for children who are allergic to cow’s milk protein, according to a White House statement. New York Times, 19 May 2022 About 50% of the babies in the United States have an allergy to cow’s milk, Madden said. cleveland, 20 May 2022 The products are made for babies who are allergic to cow’s milk. Kevin Freking, USA TODAY, 18 May 2022 After experimenting with a few brands, going to grocery stores every day, getting family and friends to check their local stores and even venturing to other towns to check supply, Houston transitioned Raelyn to cow’s milk. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 11 May 2022 The fear, however, is that Moscow’s pivot to indiscriminate strikes against civilian targets will cow the Ukrainian government into submission. James Hookway, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of cow


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


1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cow


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


probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish kue to subdue

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

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cow


\ ˈkau̇ How to pronounce cow (audio) \

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)


cowed; cowing

Kids Definition of cow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make afraid They were cowed by threats.

More from Merriam-Webster on cow

Nglish: Translation of cow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cow for Arabic Speakers


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