calf

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

A cow and calf

From Middle English calf, kælf, kelf (also chalf, chalve, chauve, etc.), from Old English cælf, ċealf, from Proto-Germanic *kalbaz (compare Dutch kalf, German Kalb, Danish kalv), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷolbʰo (womb, animal young), *gʷelbʰ- (compare Ancient Greek (Hesychius) δολφός (dolphós, womb), δελφύς (delphús), Avestan 𐬔𐬀𐬭𐬆𐬎𐬎𐬀(garəwa) 'uterus', Sanskrit गर्भ (gárbha) 'womb'), from Proto-Indo-European *gel- (to swell).

Noun[edit]

calf (plural calves)

  1. A young cow or bull.
  2. Leather made of the skin of the calf; especially, a fine, light-coloured leather used in bookbinding.
  3. A young elephant, seal or whale (also used of some other animals).
  4. A chunk of ice broken from a larger glacier, ice shelf, or iceberg.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Kane to this entry?)
  5. A small island, near a larger island.
    the Calf of Man
  6. A cabless railroad engine.
  7. (informal, dated) An awkward or silly boy or young man; any silly person; a dolt.
    • Drayton
      some silly, doting, brainless calf
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Calf of the leg

From Middle English calf, kalf, from Old Norse kalfi, possibly derived from the same Germanic root as English calf (young cow) (above). Cognate with Icelandic kálfi (calf of the leg).

Noun[edit]

calf (plural calves)

  1. (anatomy) The back of the leg below the knee.
  2. The muscle in the back of the leg below the knee.
    • 1988, Steve Holman, "Christian Conquers Columbus", Ironman, 47 (6): 28-34.
      Sure, his calves are a little weak, but the rest of his physique is so overwhelming, he should place high.


Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Anagrams[edit]


Middle Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Dutch kalf, from Proto-Germanic *kalbaz.

Noun[edit]

calf n

  1. calf

Inflection[edit]

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Descendants[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • calf”, in Vroegmiddelnederlands Woordenboek, 2000
  • calf”, in Middelnederlandsch Woordenboek, 1929

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English cælf, Anglian form of ċealf, from Proto-Germanic *kalbaz.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

calf (plural calver(e) or calveren or calves)

  1. A young cow; a bovine that has not fully matured.
  2. A representation of a calf; something that looks like a calf.
  3. A deer which hasn't fully grown.
  4. (rare, biblical) The calf in Revelation around the throne of God.
  5. (rare) Veal; the meat of calves.
Descendants[edit]
References[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse kalfi.

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

calf (plural calves)

  1. The calf (part of the leg).
Descendants[edit]
References[edit]