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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cowcatcher
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It's against the law to spear fish with a cowcatcher this time o' year.

    Gullible's Travels, Etc. Ring W. Lardner
  • It was a novel sensation to the youths—sitting on the cowcatcher of the engine.

    The Forest of Mystery James H. Foster
  • The train was forced to a crawl with the cowcatcher fairly nipping at the horse's heels.

  • 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
  • He gave it in charge of the other man, and then he climbed over the engine, and he came down on the cowcatcher.

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

    Plum Pudding Christopher Morley
  • 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
  • I could only place stones on the line, but these were swept away by the cowcatcher, and so the train passed in safety.

    Three Years' War Christiaan Rudolf de Wet
  • While we were talking, a trainman drew a dead chicken from between two bars of the cowcatcher, where its head was wedged.

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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