[ roo-muh-nuhnt ]
See synonyms for ruminant on
  1. any even-toed, hoofed mammal of the suborder Ruminantia, being comprised of cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing quadrupeds, and including, besides domestic cattle, bison, buffalo, deer, antelopes, giraffes, camels, and chevrotains.

  1. ruminating; chewing the cud.

  2. contemplative; meditative: a ruminant scholar.

Origin of ruminant

1655–65; <Latin rūminant- (stem of rūmināns, present participle of rūminārī, rūmināre to chew cud, meditate), equivalent to rūmin- (stem of rūmen) rumen + -ant--ant

Other words from ruminant

  • ru·mi·nant·ly, adverb
  • non·ru·mi·nant, noun, adjective
  • un·ru·mi·nant, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ruminant in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ruminant


/ (ˈruːmɪnənt) /

  1. any artiodactyl mammal of the suborder Ruminantia, the members of which chew the cud and have a stomach of four compartments, one of which is the rumen. The group includes deer, antelopes, cattle, sheep, and goats

  2. any other animal that chews the cud, such as a camel

  1. of, relating to, or belonging to the suborder Ruminantia

  2. (of members of this suborder and related animals, such as camels) chewing the cud; ruminating

  1. meditating or contemplating in a slow quiet way

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

Scientific definitions for ruminant


[ rōōmə-nənt ]

  1. Any of various even-toed hoofed mammals of the suborder Ruminantia. Ruminants usually have a stomach divided into four compartments (called the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum), and chew a cud consisting of regurgitated, partially digested food. Ruminants include cattle, sheep, goats, deer, giraffes, antelopes, and camels.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.