cow

noun
\ 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

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 How to pronounce cowy (audio) \ adjective

Verb

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

Armed with data that shows an early hay cut can help the birds more successfully reproduce, places like Shelburne Farms are managing prime bird habitat to protect the species while also producing feed for their cows. USA TODAY, "Kacey Musgraves, sneaker flap, skiing in July: News from around our 50 states," 3 July 2019 Wochit Kentucky farmers have recently experienced increased problems with black vultures and turkey vultures fearlessly attacking their cows, pecking newborns and laboring mothers to death with their sharp beaks. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "How to tell black vultures and turkey vultures apart," 26 June 2019 The Thorns have managed to keep their cows by inventing new businesses and revenue streams. Deborah Hornblow, courant.com, "Boutique Farms: Creative And Resourceful Farmers Find Their Artisanal Niche," 25 June 2019 The Johnson Dairy Farm in Baraga County stopped production last week, and the owners of Rolling Acres farm in Houghton County expect to sell all of their milking cows by the end of July, The Daily Mining Gazette of Houghton reported. Detroit Free Press, "Milk production ending in 2 Upper Peninsula counties," 15 June 2019 Feruja tried not to think of her spacious family home in Myanmar, her vegetable garden, their ten cows, their chickens, their fields. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019 Back at Bulldog Honey Farms in North Dakota in March, all his cows were still in the barn, but there was extra space in the driveway. Lucas Foglia, National Geographic, "Beekeepers hit hard by thefts of hives," 3 May 2019 Chances are good — or even guaranteed — that your new cow’s nearest neighbor is also in that circle. Quanta Magazine, "Universal Method to Sort Complex Information Found," 13 Aug. 2018 Remember that a lot of genes that exist in cows and goats and deer and sheep also exist in humans. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Wildebeest! Okapi! Giraffe! Ibex! Come Peruse Their Genomes," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The problem is especially pronounced among adolescents like Burton, who are both impressionable and cowed by authority. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "This psychologist explains why people confess to crimes they didn’t commit," 13 June 2019 Girls have been raised to be cowed, timid, and self-doubting, never feeling confident enough to raise their hands in school, while the boys have been taught to regard their every opinion, however unfounded, as wise, worthy, and wonderful. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "Fifty-Fifty Follies," 10 June 2019 Still stunned by the referendum result, and cowed by the way it was talked up in the media as an overwhelming mandate, our political class remains paralyzed by its own commitment to delivering the undeliverable. Jonathan Coe, Time, "How Brexit Broke Britain and Revealed a Country at War With Itself," 6 June 2019 About a third of its farms allow calves to milk from their own mothers to some degree — highly unusual in the industry — often by separating the mother cows for milking during the day when the calves are grazing with their peers. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz, chicagotribune.com, "Videos of Fair Oaks Farms triggered outrage. But who polices how the dairy industry treats its cows?," 21 June 2019 Barr told Biden and the committee the investigation would not be cowed by political pressure. Bo Erickson, CBS News, "In the 1990s, Joe Biden said William Barr was "one of the best" attorneys general," 11 June 2019 The British are a biddable people, easily cowed by authority. Lionel Shriver, Harper's magazine, "No Exit," 10 Apr. 2019 The move by the automaker is the latest example of a foreign company being cowed by the growing power of a critical, but increasingly nationalistic, consumer market. Sui-lee Wee, New York Times, "Mercedes-Benz Quotes the Dalai Lama. China Notices. Apology Follows.," 6 Feb. 2018 Instead, an ambiguous referendum result has allowed a parliamentary rump to cow the much larger number of MPs who know better about the business, economic and social stakes. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Britain Risks Death by a Thousand Elections," 21 Nov. 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

10 Jul 2019

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

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large animal that is raised by people for milk or meat usually on a farm especially : the adult female of this animal
: an adult female of some other large animals (such as elephants, whales, and seals)
chiefly British slang, offensive : a woman who is stupid or annoying

cow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of cow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (someone) too afraid to do something

cow

noun
\ 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)

cow

verb
cowed; cowing

Kids Definition of cow (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make afraid They were cowed by threats.

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More from Merriam-Webster on cow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cow

Spanish Central: Translation of cow

Nglish: Translation of cow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cow for Arabic Speakers

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