ruminant

noun
ru·​mi·​nant | \ ˈrü-mə-nənt How to pronounce ruminant (audio) \

Definition of ruminant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an animal that chews the cud specifically : an herbivorous, even-toed, hoofed mammal (suborder Ruminantia and Tylopoda) that has a complex 3- or 4-chambered stomach Proving that being a ruminant is no bar to being a sophisticate, cows listening to Beethoven and Haydn upped their milk production by 5.5 percent. — Jeffrey Kluger Insoluble fiber comes from the structural components of plant cell walls … . It is made up of complex carbohydrates, but has no caloric value for humans; unlike ruminants … , we are unable to digest it. — S. Boyd Eaton

Note: Ruminants include cattle, sheep, deer, goats, giraffes, camels, and llamas, although camels, llamas, and other camelids are sometimes not considered true ruminants because they possess a 3-chambered rather than a 4-chambered stomach.

ruminant

adjective

Definition of ruminant (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : chewing the cud : being a mammal that is a ruminant ruminant animals
b : of, relating to, or characteristic of a mammal that is a ruminant ruminant digestion
2 : given to or engaged in contemplation : meditative stood there … in this attitude of ruminant relish— Thomas Wolfe

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Other Words from ruminant

Adjective

ruminantly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for ruminant

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of ruminant in a Sentence

Adjective I wandered around campus all day in a ruminant mood.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Collins and Forrest believe that with proper management, grazing ruminant animals can help reverse the effects of climate change, a particularly urgent matter. Dallas News, "Becoming a ‘conscious carnivore’: Texas bison harvest shows meat-eaters how to honor the animal," 5 Oct. 2020 Lamb – Another ruminant, lamb, comes at number two -- confirming that red meat is particularly resource-intensive and, as such, damaging to the environment. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Burping cows are fueling the climate crisis. This company says it's got a solution," 21 Sep. 2020 Take bluetongue virus, a highly lethal ruminant disease that is spread by biting midges called Culicoides. Lois Parshley, Scientific American, "How Climate Change Is Making It Harder to Predict Outbreaks," 1 May 2018 Another major source is agriculture, including cattle and other ruminant animals, and flooded rice fields. Steven Mufson, Washington Post, "Trump administration to scrap limits on methane leaks at oil and gas sites," 13 Aug. 2020 Young owns her own consulting business and has nearly 20 years of expertise in ruminant nutrition and research. Staff Reports Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Business people," 9 Aug. 2020 Cattle, deer, sheep, camels and giraffes, among others, are all ruminant mammals. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Siberian Hunters Cooked in ‘Hot Pots’ at the End of the Last Ice Age," 7 Feb. 2020 As Beano or ginger are to the human digestive system, an enzyme found in seaweed or lemongrass is to that of the ruminant. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Burger King Is Making Its Cows Fart Less to Slow Climate Change," 14 July 2020 Since this loss of methane also deprives the host of the energy therein, thus probably reducing its growth rate, controlling methanogenic bacterial activity in ruminants looks like a beneficial twofer. The Economist, "The answer to livestock that burp methane may be seaweed," 2 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The country’s nearly 120 million ruminant animals, increasingly being fed a diet of grains laced with hormones and antibiotics, were concentrated into industrialized feeding operations. Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fifty Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since the First Earth Day," 22 Apr. 2020 First, there is biological methane, which comes from agriculture - particularly the belches of ruminant animals, such as cows, and from rice fields - but also from wetlands, landfills, termites and more. Chris Mooney, Anchorage Daily News, "Methane is a hard-hitting greenhouse gas. Scientists say we’ve dramatically underestimated how much we’re emitting.," 19 Feb. 2020 Beef and other ruminant meats like lamb produce much higher greenhouse gas emissions than other proteins like beans and nuts, and these emissions are major contributors to climate change. Jenny Splitter / Photography Kelsey Mcclellan, Popular Mechanics, "Please Don't Call This Cultured Nugget "Lab Meat"," 20 Dec. 2019 The results of the chemical analysis show that the bottles contained dairy fat from the milk of ruminant animals, a group that includes cows, goats, and sheep. Megan Gannon, National Geographic, "What was in prehistoric baby bottles? Now we know.," 25 Sep. 2019 Since 1961, methane emissions from ruminant livestock, which include cows as well as sheep, buffalo, and goats, have significantly increased, according to the report. Christopher Flavelle, BostonGlobe.com, "Climate change threatens the world’s food supply, United Nations warns," 8 Aug. 2019 Since 1961 methane emissions from ruminant livestock, which include cows as well as sheep, buffalo and goats, have significantly increased, according to the report. Christopher Flavelle, New York Times, "Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns," 8 Aug. 2019 Thus began Yang’s ten-year diversion into the world of ruminant biology. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Wildebeest! Okapi! Giraffe! Ibex! Come Peruse Their Genomes," 20 June 2019 The global demand for ruminant meat, meaning beef, sheep and goat, is expected to be even higher, at 88%. Jen Christensen, CNN, "To help save the planet, cut back to a hamburger and a half per week," 17 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ruminant.' 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 ruminant

Noun

1661, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for ruminant

Time Traveler

The first known use of ruminant was in 1610

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Statistics for ruminant

Last Updated

10 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ruminant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ruminant. Accessed 25 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for ruminant

ruminant

noun
How to pronounce ruminant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ruminant

technical : an animal (such as a cow or sheep) that has more than one stomach and that swallows food and then brings it back up again to continue chewing it

ruminant

noun
ru·​mi·​nant | \ ˈrü-mə-nənt How to pronounce ruminant (audio) \

Kids Definition of ruminant

: a hoofed animal (as a cow or sheep) that chews its cud and has a stomach with usually four chambers

Other Words from ruminant

ruminant adjective ruminant animals

ruminant

noun
ru·​mi·​nant | \ ˈrü-mə-nənt How to pronounce ruminant (audio) \

Medical Definition of ruminant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a ruminant mammal

ruminant

adjective

Medical Definition of ruminant (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to two suborders (Ruminantia and Tylopoda) of even-toed hoofed mammals (as sheep, oxen, deer, and camels) that chew the cud and have a complex 3- or 4-chambered stomach

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