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[roo-muh-nuh nt] /ˈru mə nənt/
any even-toed, hoofed mammal of the suborder Ruminantia, being comprised of cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing quadrupeds, and including, besides domestic cattle, bison, buffalo, deer, antelopes, giraffes, camels, and chevrotains.
ruminating; chewing the cud.
contemplative; meditative:
a ruminant scholar.
Origin of ruminant
1655-65; < Latin rūminant- (stem of rūmināns, present participle of rūminārī, rūmināre to chew cud, meditate), equivalent to rūmin- (stem of rūmen) rumen + -ant- -ant
Related forms
ruminantly, adverb
nonruminant, noun, adjective
unruminant, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for ruminant


any artiodactyl mammal of the suborder Ruminantia, the members of which chew the cud and have a stomach of four compartments, one of which is the rumen. The group includes deer, antelopes, cattle, sheep, and goats
any other animal that chews the cud, such as a camel
of, relating to, or belonging to the suborder Ruminantia
(of members of this suborder and related animals, such as camels) chewing the cud; ruminating
meditating or contemplating in a slow quiet way
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 ruminant

1660s, from Latin ruminantem (nominative ruminans), present participle of ruminare "to chew the cud" (see ruminate). As an adjective from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ruminant in Medicine

ruminant ru·mi·nant (rōō'mə-nənt)
Any of various hoofed, even-toed, usually horned mammals of the suborder Ruminantia, such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes, characteristically having a stomach divided into four compartments and chewing a cud consisting of regurgitated, partially digested food.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ruminant in Science
Any of various even-toed hoofed mammals of the suborder Ruminantia. Ruminants usually have a stomach divided into four compartments (called the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum), and chew a cud consisting of regurgitated, partially digested food. Ruminants include cattle, sheep, goats, deer, giraffes, antelopes, and camels.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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