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calf

1
[ kaf, kahf ]
/ kæf, kɑf /
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See synonyms for: calf / calves on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural calves [kavz, kahvz]. /kævz, kɑvz/.
the young of the domestic cow or other bovine animal.
the young of certain other mammals, as elephants, seals, and whales.
Informal. an awkward, silly boy or man.
a mass of ice detached from a glacier, iceberg, or floe.
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Idioms about 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
First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English cealf, calf; cognate with Old Saxon kalf, Old Norse kalfr, Old High German kalb, from Germanic kalboz

OTHER WORDS FROM calf

calfless, adjectivecalflike, adjective

Other definitions 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. 2022

How to use calf in a sentence

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

Medical 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.

Other 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.
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