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cattle

[kat-l] /ˈkæt l/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
1.
bovine animals, especially domesticated members of the genus Bos.
2.
Bible. such animals together with other domesticated quadrupeds, as horses, swine, etc.
3.
Disparaging. human beings, especially in a large, unruly crowd.
Origin of cattle
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English catel < Old North French: (personal) property < Medieval Latin capitāle wealth; see capital1
Related forms
cattleless, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cattle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He saw them cultivate the soil and tend their herds of cattle and horses and hogs.

    Four American Indians Edson L. Whitney
  • cattle that have been shut away from it for a while are almost wild to get it.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • This gorse cropped in winter, and preserved for cattle fodder.

  • cattle and slaves are also used as units of value from time to time amongst the Oromo.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • He would have, say, 40 cattle, of which 15 would come into market each year.

    Two Years in Oregon Wallis Nash
British Dictionary definitions for cattle

cattle

/ˈkætəl/
noun (functioning as pl)
1.
bovid mammals of the tribe Bovini (bovines), esp those of the genus Bos
2.
Also called domestic cattle. any domesticated bovine mammals, esp those of the species Bos taurus (domestic ox)
related
adjective bovine
Word Origin
C13: from Old Northern French catel, Old French chatelchattel
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
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Word Origin and History for cattle
n.

mid-13c., "property," from Anglo-French catel "property" (Old North French catel, Old French chatel), from Medieval Latin capitale "property, stock," noun use of neuter of Latin adjective capitalis "principal, chief" (see capital (n.1)). Cf. sense development of fee, pecuniary. Sense originally was of movable property, especially livestock; it began to be limited to "cows and bulls" from late 16c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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