• synonyms


[moon-kaf, -kahf]
noun, plural moon·calves.
  1. a congenitally grossly deformed and mentally defective person.
  2. a foolish person.
  3. a person who spends time idly daydreaming.
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Origin of mooncalf

First recorded in 1555–65; moon + calf1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moon-calf

Historical Examples of moon-calf

  • If he is as you say, dye think he'll ever marry a moon-calf like Madge?

    The Heart of Mid-Lothian, Volume 2, Illustrated

    Sir Walter Scott

  • It is not a moon-calf business, whatever that may be, and I will not give it up.

  • As he passed the priest, his moon-calf countenance gave no hint of what he had been doing or thinking of.

  • It should be plain to every one, even though he need not behave like a moon-calf, that "one" is alone in his thoughts.


    Emily Post

British Dictionary definitions for moon-calf


noun plural -calves (-ˌkɑːvz)
  1. a born fool; dolt
  2. a person who idles time away
  3. obsolete a freak or monster
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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 moon-calf


also mooncalf, "abortive, shapeless, fleshy mass," 1560s, attributed to the influence of the moon; from moon (n.) + calf (n.). In later 16c., "deformed creature, monster."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper