- 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.
- a large, obese, and slovenly woman.
- a woman who has a large number of children or is frequently pregnant.
- 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 cow1
- to frighten with threats, violence, etc.; intimidate; overawe.
Origin of cow2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for cow on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cow
She became vegan, “inspired by a love of puppies and a cow that winked at me on a family vacation.”Speed Read: Lena Dunham’s Most Shocking Confessions From ‘Not That Kind of Girl’
September 26, 2014
Faith is decency… if I were a cow I would be wearing a bra.Beirut Letter: In Lebanon, Fighting ISIS With Culture and Satire
September 22, 2014
Jersey cows produce 40 liters of milk a day, far more than the average Rwandan cow.The American Elite Embraces a New Africa at D.C. Summit
August 6, 2014
They could wash off cow dung, forget a yell that had no meaning.Lillian Smith’s Bombshell Novel About Interracial Love
May 25, 2014
Never mind the time he put hundreds of peasants to death because someone threw a cow pie in his face.Game of Thrones’ ‘The Lion and the Rose’: Joffrey’s Demented, Shocking Royal Wedding
April 14, 2014
In this mighty enterprise, the cow shall be my great confederate.A Rill from the Town Pump (From "Twice Told Tales")
Then the cow shook her foot to free it and the skin rattled.The Trail Book
The cow recoiled a few steps and lowered her head truculently.
The women came and cried over it—they were so sorry for the cow.
Martin had gone to the barn a week before to help a cow which was aborting.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
- 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
- (tr) to frighten or overawe, as with threats
Word Origin and History for cow
Old English cu "cow," from Proto-Germanic *kwon (cf. Old Frisian ku, Middle Dutch coe, Dutch koe, Old High German kuo, German Kuh, Old Norse kyr, Danish, Swedish ko), earlier *kwom, from PIE *gwous (cf. Sanskrit gaus, Greek bous, Latin bov-, Old Irish bo, Latvian guovs, Armenian gaus "cow," Slovak hovado "ox"), perhaps ultimately imitative of lowing (cf. Sumerian gu, Chinese ngu, ngo "ox"). In Germanic and Celtic, of females only; in most other languages, of either gender. Other "cow" words sometimes are from roots meaning "horn, horned," e.g. Lithuanian karve, Old Church Slavonic krava.
"intimidate," c.1600, probably from Old Norse kuga "oppress," of unknown origin, but perhaps having something to do with cow (n.) on the notion of easily herded. Related: Cowed; cowing.
Idioms and Phrases with cow
In addition to the idiom beginning with cow
- cow college
- cash cow
- holy cow
- sacred cow
- till the cows come home