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calves1

[kavz, kahvz]
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noun
  1. plural of calf1.
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calves2

[kavz, kahvz]
noun
  1. plural of calf2.
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calf1

[kaf, kahf]
noun, plural calves [kavz, kahvz] /kævz, kɑvz/.
  1. the young of the domestic cow or other bovine animal.
  2. the young of certain other mammals, as the elephant, seal, and whale.
  3. calfskin leather.
  4. Informal. an awkward, silly boy or man.
  5. a mass of ice detached from a glacier, iceberg, or floe.
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Idioms
  1. in calf, (of a cow or other animal having calves) pregnant.
  2. kill the fatted calf, to prepare an elaborate feast in welcome or celebration.
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Origin of calf1

before 900; Middle English; Old English cealf, calf; cognate with Old Saxon kalf, Old Norse kalfr, Old High German kalb
Related formscalf·less, adjectivecalf·like, adjective

calve

[kav, kahv]
verb (used without object), calved, calv·ing.
  1. to give birth to a calf: The cow is expected to calve tomorrow.
  2. (of a glacier, an iceberg, etc.) to break up or splinter so as to produce a detached piece.
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verb (used with object), calved, calv·ing.
  1. to give birth to (a calf).
  2. (of a glacier, an iceberg, etc.) to break off or detach (a piece): The glacier calved an iceberg.
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Origin of calve

before 1000; Middle English calven, Old English (Anglian) *calfian, derivative of calf calf1; cognate with Old English (West Saxon) cealfian

calf2

[kaf, kahf]
noun, plural calves [kavz, kahvz] /kævz, kɑvz/.
  1. the fleshy part of the back of the human leg below the knee.
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Origin of calf2

1275–1325; Middle English < Old Norse kalfi; akin to calf1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for calves

calves

noun
  1. the plural of calf 1, calf 2
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calve

verb
  1. to give birth to (a calf)
  2. (of a glacier or iceberg) to release (masses of ice) in breaking up
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calf1

noun plural calves
  1. the young of cattle, esp domestic cattleRelated adjective: vituline
  2. the young of certain other mammals, such as the buffalo, elephant, giraffe, and whale
  3. a large piece of floating ice detached from an iceberg, etc
  4. kill the fatted calf to celebrate lavishly, esp as a welcome
  5. another name for calfskin
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Word Origin

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

calf2

noun plural calves
  1. the thick fleshy part of the back of the leg between the ankle and the kneeRelated adjective: sural
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for calves

calf

n.2

fleshy part of the lower leg, early 14c., from Old Norse kalfi, source unknown; possibly from the same Germanic root as calf (n.1).

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calf

n.1

"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.

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calve

v.

Old English cealfian, from cealf "calf" (see calf (n.1)). Of icebergs, 1837. Related: Calved; calving.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

calves in Medicine

calf

(kăf)
n. pl. calves (kăvz)
  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.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with calves

calf

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

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