\ ˈō-ˌvīn How to pronounce ovine (audio) \

Definition of ovine

: of, relating to, or resembling sheep

Other Words from ovine

ovine noun

Did you know?

Sheep belong to the same family of mammals as goats, antelope, bison, buffalo, and cows. The genus Ovis includes at least five species, including the domestic sheep. Some 12,000 years ago, in the area now known as Iraq, sheep became one of the first animals to be domesticated; only the dog is known to have been tamed earlier. At first, they were valued for their milk, skin, and meat (mutton and lamb); not until about 1500 B.C. did the weaving of wool begin. Today a billion sheep are being farmed worldwide. The term ovine (which is a noun as well as an adjective) is mostly used in scientific and medical writing—which means you could impress your friends by dropping it into a casual conversation.

Examples of ovine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These are the ovine foot soldiers in one of the most ambitious renewable energy revolutions in the United States. Noelle Swan, Scientific American, 21 Sep. 2019 But in my estimation, the ultimate funkmaster—and there can only be one—is U Pecorinu, our ovine demon-king. Molly Fitzpatrick, Bon Appetit, 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ovine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ovine

1676, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ovine

Late Latin ovinus, from Latin ovis sheep — more at ewe

Learn More About ovine

Dictionary Entries Near ovine



ovine malaria

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ovine

Cite this Entry

“Ovine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ovine. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for ovine


\ ˈō-ˌvīn How to pronounce ovine (audio) \

Medical Definition of ovine

: of, relating to, or resembling sheep ovine growth hormone


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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