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 cow (audio) \ adjective

Verb

cowedly \ ˈkau̇(-​ə)d-​lē How to pronounce cow (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 Speaking of why, after years of using cow leather to make their classic handbags and accessories, the brand decided to embrace vegan leather, the spokesperson said their customers are craving more ethical alternatives. Rosa Sanchez, Forbes, "Fossil Goes Green, Releases The Perfect Cactus Leather Commuter Tote," 12 Apr. 2021 The continued enforcement of cow slaughter laws penalizes Muslims, as well as Christians and Dalits, for offending certain Hindu religious interpretations. Knox Thames And Simran Jeet Singh, CNN, "Why Biden should be careful about courting India's Modi government," 12 Apr. 2021 The company was sued by the Swedish Dairy Association for implying that cow’s milk is unhealthy, and lost the case in 2015. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "Oatly’s offbeat marketing turned boring alt-milk into a $10-billion business," 10 Apr. 2021 Another compared parental acceptance of transgender youth to allowing a child to decide to become a cow. Andrew Demillo, chicagotribune.com, "In GOP strongholds, Republican legislatures push the bounds on ‘culture war’ issues," 10 Apr. 2021 Another compared parental acceptance of transgender youth to allowing a child to decide to become a cow. Andrew Demillo, Anchorage Daily News, "In GOP strongholds, a big push on ‘culture war’ legislation," 10 Apr. 2021 In the meantime, dropshippers shouldn’t skirt around or ignore difficult questions like the seller of those £42 cow print boots (whose listing, thankfully, has now been taken down by Depop). Serena Smith, refinery29.com, "Inside The Dodgy World Of Dropshipping On Depop," 10 Apr. 2021 Another compared parental acceptance of transgender youth to allowing a child to decide to become a cow. Andrew Demillo, Star Tribune, "In GOP strongholds, a big push on 'culture war' legislation," 10 Apr. 2021 The Dolphins are missing a bell-cow who can gain tough yardage running between the tackles, and close out games where Miami possesses a lead and needs to extinguish the game by running out the clock. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "Miami Dolphins’ NFL draft options: Tailbacks," 6 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oat milk’s longer shelf life compared to cow milk also led to a run on the product early in the pandemic, with sales up 323% in the last week of February 2020 compared to the year before, while sales of hand sanitizer rose 313%. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "Oatly’s offbeat marketing turned boring alt-milk into a $10-billion business," 10 Apr. 2021 Too often the loss of housing can be used as a legal weapon by abusers to cow partners into submission. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Some Utah landlords are evicting domestic violence victims," 19 Mar. 2021 Recent studies have also shown that adding red seaweed to cow feed could cut bovine flatulence and cut cows' methane production by up to 98 per cent. Daphne Ewing-chow, Forbes, "Five Reasons Why Sea Vegetables Could Be The Future Of Produce," 1 Mar. 2021 Beijing has used its economic heft to try to cow U.S. allies, including cutting off imports of wine and coal from Australia after Canberra pressed for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S. Enlists Allies to Counter China’s Technology Push," 28 Feb. 2021 Senior lawmakers shepherding the legislation had hoped that mustering a veto-proof majority in favor of it would cow Mr. Trump into signing the bill. New York Times, "House Votes to Override Trump’s Veto of Military Bill," 28 Dec. 2020 In the coming year, the Kremlin could further cow Russia’s systemic opposition, or opposition groups and political parties tolerated by the government. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "After Momentous 2020, Russia’s Putin Enters New Year as Powerful as Ever," 26 Dec. 2020 Senior lawmakers shepherding the legislation have hoped that mustering a veto-proof majority in favor of it would cow Mr. Trump into signing the bill. New York Times, "House Passes Defense Bill Overwhelmingly, Defying Trump’s Veto Threat," 8 Dec. 2020 Local elections that begin Friday will provide a critical test of its staying power and whether the attack will cow Russia’s beleaguered... Thomas Grove, WSJ, "With Navalny Sidelined, Russia’s Opposition Seeks to Deal a Blow to Putin," 9 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for cow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for cow

Last Updated

17 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cow. Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cow

Nglish: Translation of cow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cow for Arabic Speakers

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