• synonyms


[boh-vahyn, -vin, -veen]
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  1. of or relating to the subfamily Bovinae, which includes cattle, buffalo, and kudus.
  2. oxlike; cowlike.
  3. stolid; dull.
  1. a bovine animal.

Origin of bovine

1810–20; < Late Latin bovīnus of, pertaining to oxen or cows, equivalent to Latin bov- (stem of bōs) ox + -īnus -ine1
Related formsbo·vine·ly, adverbbo·vin·i·ty [boh-vin-i-tee] /boʊˈvɪn ɪ ti/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bovine


  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the Bovini (cattle), a bovid tribe including domestic cattle
  2. (of people) dull; sluggish; stolid
  1. any animal belonging to the Bovini
Derived Formsbovinely, adverb

Word Origin

C19: from Late Latin bovīnus concerning oxen or cows, from Latin bōs ox, cow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bovine


1817, from French bovin (14c.), from Late Latin bovinus, from Latin bos (genitive bovis) "ox, cow," from PIE *gwous- (see cow (n.)). Figurative sense of "inert and stupid" is from 1855.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bovine in Science


  1. Characteristic of or resembling cows or cattle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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