[kuh-los-truh m]


a yellowish liquid, especially rich in immune factors, secreted by the mammary gland of female mammals a few days before and after the birth of their young.

Nearby words

  1. colossus,
  2. colossus of rhodes,
  3. colostomy,
  4. colostomy bag,
  5. colostrorrhea,
  6. colotomy,
  7. colour,
  8. colour bar,
  9. colour code,
  10. colour commentator

Origin of colostrum

First recorded in 1570–80, colostrum is from the Latin word colostrum, colustrum beestings

Also called foremilk.

Related formsco·los·tral, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for colostrum

British Dictionary definitions for colostrum



the thin milky secretion from the nipples that precedes and follows true lactation. It consists largely of serum and white blood cells
Derived Formscolostral, adjective

Word Origin for colostrum

C16: from Latin, of obscure origin

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 colostrum



1570s, from Latin colostrum "first milk from an animal," of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for colostrum




The first milk secreted at the time of parturition, differing from the milk secreted later by containing more lactalbumin and lactoprotein, and also being rich in antibodies that confer passive immunity to the newborn.foremilk
Related formsco•lostral (-trəl) adj.

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