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

  1. being or relating to animals that ruminate or chew the cud, typically those of the suborder Ruminantia: Methane emissions from ruminant animals represent a quarter of all methane emissions in the region.

  2. contemplative; meditative: In a corner of the library, a ruminant scholar sat poring over a thick book.

Origin of ruminant

First recorded in 1655–65; from Latin rūminant-, stem of rūmināns “chewing cud,” present participle of rūmināre, rūminārī “to chew cud, meditate,” verb derivative of rūmin-, stem of rūmen rumen

Other words from ruminant

  • ru·mi·nant·ly, adverb
  • non·ru·mi·nant, noun, adjective
  • un·ru·mi·nant, adjective

Words Nearby ruminant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use ruminant in a sentence

  • Away goes your fine brain, the house of thought and instinct, to swell the cud of a ruminant animal!

    Cape Cod | Henry D. Thoreau
  • He was eating in his slow ruminant way—he ate enormously but never hungrily.

    The Kentucky Warbler | James Lane Allen
  • Paunch, pawnsh, or pnsh, n. the belly: the first and largest stomach of a ruminant.

  • Monona, who had previously hidden a cooky in her frock, now remembered it and crunched sidewise, the eyes ruminant.

    Miss Lulu Bett | Zona Gale
  • On the other hand, his intelligence is a grade or two above that of perhaps any ruminant or other herbivorous quadruped.

    Animal Intelligence | George J. Romanes

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.