calf

1
[ kaf, kahf ]
/ kæf, kɑf /

noun, plural calves [kavz, kahvz] /kævz, kɑvz/.

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.

Idioms for calf

    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 calf

1
before 900; Middle English; Old English cealf, calf; cognate with Old Saxon kalf, Old Norse kalfr, Old High German kalb

OTHER WORDS FROM calf

calf·less, adjectivecalf·like, adjective

Definition for calf (2 of 2)

calf2
[ kaf, kahf ]
/ kæf, kɑf /

noun, plural calves [kavz, kahvz] /kævz, kɑvz/.

the fleshy part of the back of the human leg below the knee.

Origin of calf

2
1275–1325; Middle English < Old Norse kalfi; akin to calf1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for calf

British Dictionary definitions for calf (1 of 2)

calf1
/ (kɑːf) /

noun plural calves

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

Word Origin for calf

Old English cealf; related to Old Norse kālfr, Gothic kalbō, Old High German kalba

British Dictionary definitions for calf (2 of 2)

calf2
/ (kɑːf) /

noun plural calves

the thick fleshy part of the back of the leg between the ankle and the kneeRelated adjective: sural

Word Origin for calf

C14: from Old Norse kalfi
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

Medicine definitions for calf

calf
[ kăf ]

n. pl. calves (kăvz)

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with calf

calf

see kill the fatted calf; puppy (calf) love.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.