heif·​er ˈhe-fər How to pronounce heifer (audio)
: a young cow
especially : one that has not had a calf

Examples of heifer in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most cows coming into California are heifers that do not yet produce milk. Lisa M. Krieger, The Mercury News, 26 Apr. 2024 Finally, many have linked the eclipse with the imminent sacrifice of red heifers in Israel, a practice that some Jews and evangelicals believe will variously herald the construction of a Third Temple in Jerusalem, the return of the messiah, or the end of the world. David Gilbert, WIRED, 5 Apr. 2024 As the grazing heifers lifted their horns, their playful roughhousing seemed like a display of holiday cheer. Arielle Gordon Alexandra Genova, New York Times, 19 Dec. 2023 The livestock competitions, for instance, actually begin four days before the full State Fair because of the number of species, and rotations of dairy cattle, commercial heifers and breeding cattle are shown throughout the 10 days of the annual event. Paige Eichkorn, Arkansas Online, 16 Oct. 2023 Mama and all three heifer (female) calves are doing well. Talia Lissauer, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Aug. 2023 Wyoming Hope, the park’s 3-year-old white heifer, had given birth on May 16 to a white calf − an extremely uncommon phenomenon, according to Bear River officials. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 1 June 2023 Esquivel’s heifer and turkey tom came in first place, and his steer and another heifer were chosen as reserve champions in the showmanship categories, and a turkey hen placed fourth. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, 16 Oct. 2020 The park got two white bison heifers in 2021, and the new calf's mother, Wyoming Hope, was bred by a resident bull at the site. Li Cohen, CBS News, 29 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heifer.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English hayfare, from Old English hēahfore

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heifer was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near heifer

Cite this Entry

“Heifer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heifer. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


heif·​er ˈhef-ər How to pronounce heifer (audio)
: a young cow
especially : one that has not had a calf

More from Merriam-Webster on heifer

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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