[ kou ]
/ kaʊ /

noun, plural cows, (Archaic) kine.

the mature female of a bovine animal, especially of the genus Bos.
the female of various other large animals, as the elephant or whale.
Informal. a domestic bovine of either sex and any age.
Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
  1. a large, obese, and slovenly woman.
  2. a woman who has a large number of children or is frequently pregnant.

Idioms for cow

    till/until the cows come home, for a long time; forever: You can keep arguing till the cows come home, but I won't change my mind.

Origin of cow

before 900; Middle English cou, Old English cū; cognate with German Kuh, Dutch koe, Old Norse kȳr, Latin bōs, Greek boûs ox; cf. bovine, gaur


cow·like, adjective

Definition for cow (2 of 2)

[ kou ]
/ kaʊ /

verb (used with object)

to frighten with threats, violence, etc.; intimidate; overawe.

Origin of cow

1595–1605; < Old Norse kūga to oppress, cow; compare Danish kue to cow


un·cowed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cow

British Dictionary definitions for cow (1 of 2)

/ (kaʊ) /


the mature female of any species of cattle, esp domesticated cattle
the mature female of various other mammals, such as the elephant, whale, and seal
(not in technical use) any domestic species of cattle
informal a disagreeable woman
Australian and NZ slang something objectionable (esp in the phrase a fair cow)
till the cows come home informal for a very long time; effectively for ever

Word Origin for cow

Old English cū; related to Old Norse kӯr, Old High German kuo, Latin bōs, Greek boūs, Sanskrit gāŭs

British Dictionary definitions for cow (2 of 2)

/ (kaʊ) /


(tr) to frighten or overawe, as with threats

Word Origin for cow

C17: from Old Norse kūga to oppress, related to Norwegian kue, Swedish kuva
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

Idioms and Phrases with cow


In addition to the idiom beginning with cow

  • cow college

also see:

  • cash cow
  • holy cow
  • sacred cow
  • till the cows come home
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.