1. chew one's/the cud, Informal. to meditate or ponder; ruminate.

Origin of cud

before 1000; Middle English; Old English cudu, variant of cwiodu, cwidu; akin to Old High German quiti glue, Sanskrit jatu resin, gum. See quid1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for cuds

food, chew, rumen, bolus, quid

Examples from the Web for cuds

Historical Examples of cuds

  • And while the cows were being milked, they ate the meal and chewed their cuds.

  • The rest of the herd were contentedly chewing their cuds in the moonlight, grunting and blowing over contented stomachs.

  • The cattle also seemed to feel the heat and were hunting patches of shade, lying down to chew their cuds contentedly.

  • The camels were at rest, some chewing their cuds, others asleep, their necks stretched full length upon the warm earth.

  • Eight cows sauntered up interestedly and chewed their cuds at him in unison, standing contemplative, calculating, determined.

    The Seeker

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for cuds


  1. partially digested food regurgitated from the first stomach of cattle and other ruminants to the mouth for a second chewing
  2. chew the cud to reflect or think over something

Word Origin for cud

Old English cudu, from cwidu what has been chewed; related to Old Norse kvātha resin (for chewing), Old High German quiti glue, Sanskrit jatu rubber
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 cuds



Old English cudu "cud," earlier cwudu, common Germanic (cf. Old Norse kvaða "resin," Old High German quiti "glue," German Kitt "putty"); perhaps from PIE root *gwet- "resin, gum."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

cuds in Science


  1. Food that has been partly digested and brought up from the first stomach to the mouth again for further chewing by ruminants, such as cattle and sheep.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.