bell cow



a cow, especially the lead cow of a herd, having a bell attached to a collar around its neck so that the herd can be located easily.

Origin of bell cow

An Americanism dating back to 1855–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bell cow

  • “Good-day, cow at the manger,” said the cat to the bell-cow.

  • But the evening was come, and the bell-cow, home from her browsing, was ringing for admittance at the barn-yard gate.

    An Arkansas Planter|Opie Percival Read
  • The Deacon jingled it as he passed.223 "Goes with the bell-cow," he said, and nothing further was said of it.