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[kou-kach-er] /ˈkaʊˌkætʃ ər/
a triangular frame at the front of a locomotive, especially a steam locomotive, designed for clearing the track of obstructions.
Also called pilot.
Origin of cowcatcher
An Americanism dating back to 1830-40; cow1 + catcher Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for cowcatcher
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a novel sensation to the youths—sitting on the cowcatcher of the engine.

    The Forest of Mystery

    James H. Foster
  • It's against the law to spear fish with a cowcatcher this time o' year.

    Gullible's Travels, Etc. Ring W. Lardner
  • But didn't I come near to ripping the cowcatcher from that engine?

  • As many wounded as possible were piled on to the engine, standing in the cab, lying on the tender, or clinging to the cowcatcher.

    London to Ladysmith via Pretoria Winston Spencer Churchill
  • And I never had much trouble with the Spiggoties, what of letting them sneak free rides in the tender or on the cowcatcher.

    The Red One Jack London
  • Captain Fuller rode on the pilot of his engine, and removed such of the obstructions as were not knocked off by the cowcatcher.

    Stories Of Georgia Joel Chandler Harris
  • But we will spoil their game I guess, and I don't think the railroad company will complain at the loss of a cowcatcher.

    Frontier Boys in Frisco

    Wyn Roosevelt
  • We always expect to see an enormous red tongue running in and out over the cowcatcher.

    Plum Pudding

    Christopher Morley
  • The whistle wailed against the sky, the gunmen piled on cowcatcher and carsteps.

    Mountain Clement Wood
British Dictionary definitions for cowcatcher


(US & Canadian) a metal frame on the front of a locomotive to clear the track of animals or other obstructions
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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