- the young of the domestic cow or other bovine animal.
- the young of certain other mammals, as the elephant, seal, and whale.
- calfskin leather.
- Informal. an awkward, silly boy or man.
- a mass of ice detached from a glacier, iceberg, or floe.
- in calf, (of a cow or other animal having calves) pregnant.
- kill the fatted calf, to prepare an elaborate feast in welcome or celebration.
Origin of calf1
- the fleshy part of the back of the human leg below the knee.
Origin of calf2
Examples from the Web for calf
“Good, number 15 – she and her calf are still in the same place,” he said.
At her side was her calf, which turned and squinted at us through baby eyes.
He remembers being able to wrap his thumb and middle finger around her calf.How Difficult Russian Adoptions Were, Even Before Vladimir Putin’s Crackdown
December 31, 2012
He commanded the brigade in the 2008 war with Russia that suffered the most casualties and he himself was shot in the calf.Georgia Crackdown Threatens U.S. Ties
November 29, 2012
Her dour father is clad in plaid shorts and black dress socks pulled up snugly along the calf.Moving In With Mom, Dad and God
October 27, 2009
Also with knuckle of veal, and with calf's head boiled plain.Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches
It had got chopped off by some accident when she was a calf.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
"The Koerting; so it is," said the Baron, when shown the X-ray photograph of his calf.
But the calf has in its upper jaw some rudiments of teeth which never are developed, and never play the part of teeth at all.
Then take out the calf's head and strain the stock into a clean pan.The Skilful Cook
- the young of cattle, esp domestic cattleRelated adjective: vituline
- the young of certain other mammals, such as the buffalo, elephant, giraffe, and whale
- a large piece of floating ice detached from an iceberg, etc
- kill the fatted calf to celebrate lavishly, esp as a welcome
- another name for calfskin
- the thick fleshy part of the back of the leg between the ankle and the kneeRelated adjective: sural
Word Origin and History for calf
"young cow," Old English cealf (Anglian cælf) "young cow," from West Germanic *kalbam (cf. Middle Dutch calf, Old Norse kalfr, German Kalb, Gothic kalbo), perhaps from PIE *gelb(h)-, from root *gel- "to swell," hence, "womb, fetus, young of an animal." Elliptical sense of "leather made from the skin of a calf" is from 1727. Used of icebergs that break off from glaciers from 1818.
fleshy part of the lower leg, early 14c., from Old Norse kalfi, source unknown; possibly from the same Germanic root as calf (n.1).
- The fleshy, muscular back part of the human leg between the knee and ankle, formed chiefly by the bellies of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles.
Idioms and Phrases with calf
see kill the fatted calf; puppy (calf) love.