1

cow

noun \ ˈkau̇ \

Definition of cow

1 a :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

cowy

play \ˈkau̇-ē\ adjective

Examples of cow in a Sentence

  1. The cows need to be milked twice a day.

Recent Examples of cow from the Web

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.

Illustration of cow

Origin and Etymology of cow

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

Other Mammals Terms


2

cow

verb

Definition of cow

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

cowedly

play \ˈkau̇(-ə)d-lē\ adverb

Examples of cow in a Sentence

  1. I refuse to be cowed by their threats.

  2. a sharp glare cowed the child into being quiet

Recent Examples of cow from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of cow

probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish kue to subdue

Synonym Discussion of 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


COW Defined for English Language Learners

cow

verb

Definition of cow for English Language Learners

  • : to make (someone) too afraid to do something


COW Defined for Kids

1

cow

noun \ ˈkau̇ \

Definition of cow for Students

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

2

cow

verb

Definition of cow for Students

cowed; cowing
:to make afraid
  • They were cowed by threats.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up cow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!