- to give birth to a calf: The cow is expected to calve tomorrow.
- (of a glacier, an iceberg, etc.) to break up or splinter so as to produce a detached piece.
- to give birth to (a calf).
- (of a glacier, an iceberg, etc.) to break off or detach (a piece): The glacier calved an iceberg.
Origin of calve
before 1000; Middle English calven, Old English (Anglian) *calfian, derivative of calf calf1; cognate with Old English (West Saxon) cealfian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for calve
When these pieces break away the inland ice is said to "calve."From Pole to Pole
Sven Anders Hedin
These Welsh heifers will calve about May; and they are just the very thing for a cottager.Rural Rides
The assemblage was a brilliant one and Calve was at her best.The Song of the Wolf
It was once supposed that the gastric juice of the calve's stomach was acid, and produced coagulation by souring.
How or why the principle obtained by soaking the calve's stomach produces coagulation has not yet been discovered.
- to give birth to (a calf)
- (of a glacier or iceberg) to release (masses of ice) in breaking up
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
Word Origin and History for calve
Old English cealfian, from cealf "calf" (see calf (n.1)). Of icebergs, 1837. Related: Calved; calving.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper