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

The 3,150 square-foot single-family abode is also nestled on 0.4 acres of land, which may not fit farm animals like the Gaineses’ cows, but could probably fit a chicken coop. Megan Stein, Country Living, "You Can Buy This Brand-New Farmhouse Designed by Joanna Gaines," 22 Jan. 2019 The pregnant American former actress and her husband, Prince Harry, got their hands dirty throwing cotton seed onto hay used to feed the cows because of a lack of pasture. Kirsty Wigglesworth, The Seattle Times, "Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town," 17 Oct. 2018 The most classic tacos are sold on the street and use every bit of the cow, but ingredients sway regional. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Debatable Encyclopedia of Drunk Food," 1 Oct. 2018 What had brought things to a standstill were a cow and bull in the middle of the road, in the vigorous act of making a calf. Margalit Fox, The Seattle Times, "Alan Abel, hoaxer extraordinaire, is (on good authority) dead at 94," 18 Sep. 2018 An illness similar to mad-cow disease that is fatal to deer is spreading across the U.S., worrying hunters, wildlife-management officials and scientists. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Disease Threatening Deer Population Has Spread to 26 States," 7 Feb. 2019 The duchess and mom-to-be has a cool, edgy footwear style, most recently rocking the PVC and cow-print trends. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Story Behind Meghan Markle's Favorite Slipper Shoe," 24 Jan. 2019 Pro tip: McLauchlin makes decorated cow skulls that are available for purchase (along all of his works in the Chapel of Jimmy Ray) and these are worth checking a suitcase for, or arranging an entire trip around. Jaimie Potters, ELLE Decor, "A Design Lover's Guide to Visiting San Miguel de Allende," 7 Jan. 2019 Thousands of volunteer searchers have combed cornfields and cow pastures. Tim Gruber, The Seattle Times, "Mystery in a small town: A quiet couple are shot dead, their daughter is missing," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The New York Times refused to be cowed, and good for them. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The problem with Twitter, as shown by the Sarah Jeong fracas," 8 Aug. 2018 The increasingly aggressive and abusive Chinese government poses a significant danger, but the free world should not be cowed. Maya Wang, WSJ, "China’s Bumbling Police State," 26 Dec. 2018 Generous pay packets and undemanding bonus targets can be a warning that a company’s board has been cowed by overbearing executives: Think of advertising firm WPP’s problems with longtime former CEO Martin Sorrell. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "The Nissan Lesson: Pay Close Attention to Pay," 27 Nov. 2018 Upstairs, in a quiet corner, Rupert Murdoch gave Ed Koch a ribbing, the irascible mayor — into his third term — cowed by a tabloid king still on his way up. Jay Cheshes, Town & Country, "Caviar and Cocaine," 6 Feb. 2013 As Camille realizes her younger sister takes after their mother's murderous ways, Amma enters the room, cowed at her sister's realization. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gillian Flynn Breaks Down the Differences Between the Sharp Objects Finale & Her Book," 27 Aug. 2018 Yet time and again, the N.F.L. has been cowed by a president willing to use his bully pulpit to win political points and exact a measure of revenge on a league that rejected his efforts to buy a team. Ken Belson, New York Times, "The N.F.L. Still Has a Trump Problem," 5 June 2018 Messi has, throughout his time in Russia, seemed inhibited, cowed and stressed. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Amid Argentina’s Drama, Lionel Messi’s Brilliance Emerges," 26 June 2018 Reich said it, Pederson said it, a couple of players said it: This was a great football game, with two excellent teams (well, excellent offenses anyway) playing at their peak, without being cowed by the stage. Peter King, SI.com, "The Philly Special: Inside the ‘Set of Stones’ Play Call That Helped the Eagles Win the Super Bowl," 5 Feb. 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

20 Mar 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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