cattle

Use the word cattle to talk about a group of cows. A farmer might build a new fence to keep her cattle more safely secured in their pasture.

Cattle usually refers to domesticated cows, almost always a large group of them. If you have a small dairy farm with only three or four cows, you'll probably call them "cows." When you're talking about a bigger operation, they're more likely to be called cattle. In the 13th century, the word simply meant "property," from the Medieval Latin capitale, "property or stock." It took about 300 years before cattle meant "cows."

Definitions of cattle
  1. noun
    domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age
    “so many head of cattle
    synonyms: Bos taurus, cows, kine, oxen
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    types:
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    ox
    an adult castrated bull of the genus Bos; especially Bos taurus
    stirk
    yearling heifer or bullock
    bullock, steer
    castrated bull
    bull
    uncastrated adult male of domestic cattle
    cow, moo-cow
    female of domestic cattle: "`moo-cow' is a child's term"
    beef, beef cattle
    cattle that are reared for their meat
    Welsh, Welsh Black
    a breed of dual-purpose cattle developed in Wales
    red poll
    hornless short-haired breed of beef and dairy cattle
    Africander
    tall large-horned humped cattle of South Africa; used for meat or draft
    dairy cattle, dairy cow, milch cow, milcher, milk cow, milker
    cattle that are reared for their milk
    Devon
    red dual-purpose cattle of English origin
    grade
    a variety of cattle produced by crossbreeding with a superior breed
    springer, springing cow
    a cow about to give birth
    heifer
    young cow
    bullock
    young bull
    Texas longhorn, longhorn
    long-horned beef cattle formerly common in southwestern United States
    Santa Gertrudis
    Brahman and shorthorn crossbreed of red cattle; hardy in hot regions
    Aberdeen Angus, Angus, black Angus
    black hornless breed from Scotland
    Ayrshire
    hardy breed of dairy cattle from Ayr, Scotland
    Brown Swiss
    large hardy brown breed of dairy cattle from Switzerland
    Charolais
    large white or cream-colored breed from France
    Jersey
    a breed of diary cattle developed on the island of Jersey
    Durham, shorthorn
    English breed of short-horned cattle
    milking shorthorn
    breed evolved from shorthorn beef cattle
    Galloway
    breed of hardy black chiefly beef cattle native to Scotland
    Friesian, Holstein, Holstein-Friesian
    a breed of dairy cattle from northern Holland
    Guernsey
    breed of dairy cattle from the island of Guernsey
    Hereford, whiteface
    hardy English breed of dairy cattle raised extensively in United States
    beefalo, cattalo
    hardy breed of cattle resulting from crossing domestic cattle with the American buffalo; yields leaner beef than conventional breeds
    type of:
    bovine
    any of various members of the genus Bos
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