• synonyms


[roo-muh-nuh nt]
See more synonyms for ruminant on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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  1. ruminating; chewing the cud.
  2. contemplative; meditative: a ruminant scholar.
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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
Related formsru·mi·nant·ly, adverbnon·ru·mi·nant, noun, adjectiveun·ru·mi·nant, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ruminant

introspective, reflective, pensive, awake, aware, musing, philosophical, rapt, thinking, thoughtful, cogitative, prayerful, ruminative, ruminant

Examples from the Web for ruminant

Historical Examples of ruminant

  • And, contrariwise, there is tripe—“the stomach of the ox or of some other ruminant.”

    A Book of Burlesques

    H. L. Mencken

  • It is a ruminant, or an animal which has three or four stomachs.

  • While they were talking, William Sanders came up, chewing like a ruminant.

  • I believe that no other ruminant is harder to kill outright.

  • This is the paunch, or first portion of the ruminant stomach of the ox.

British Dictionary definitions for ruminant


  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
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  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
  3. meditating or contemplating in a slow quiet way
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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 ruminant


1660s, from Latin ruminantem (nominative ruminans), present participle of ruminare "to chew the cud" (see ruminate). As an adjective from 1670s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ruminant in Medicine


  1. Any of various hoofed, even-toed, usually horned mammals of the suborder Ruminantia, such as cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes, characteristically having a stomach divided into four compartments and chewing a cud consisting of regurgitated, partially digested food.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ruminant in Science


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