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A glass of cow's milk.


  • enPR: mĭlk, IPA(key): /mɪlk/
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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English milk, mylk, melk, mulc, from Old English meolc, meoluc (milk), from Proto-Germanic *meluks, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂melǵ-.


milk (countable and uncountable, plural milks)

  1. (uncountable) A white liquid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals to nourish their young. From certain animals, especially cows, it is also called dairy milk and is a common food for humans as a beverage or used to produce various dairy products such as butter, cheese, and yogurt.
    • 2007 September 24, Chris Horseman (interviewee), Emily Harris (reporter), “Global Dairy Demand Drives Up Prices”, Morning Edition, National Public Radio
      [] there's going to be that much less milk available to cover any other uses. Which means whether it's liquid milk or whether it's [milk that's been turned into] cheese or yogurt, the price gets pulled up right across the board.
    • 2017, Adam Rutherford, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, The Experiment, →ISBN, page 75:
      In the West it's' fairly normal to drink milk in various forms into adulthood.
      Got milk?
      Skyr is a product made of curdled milk.
  2. (uncountable) A white (or whitish) liquid obtained from a vegetable source such as almonds, coconuts, oats, rice, and/or soy beans. Also called non-dairy milk. [from circa 1200]
    • 1381, Pegge Cook. Recipes, page 114, quoted in 1962, Hans Kurath and Sherman M. Kuhn (editors), Middle English Dictionary, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, ISBN 978-0-472-01044-8, page 1242, entry "dorrẹ̅":
      For to make Soupys dorry. Nym onyons [] Nym wyn [] toste wyte bred and do yt in dischis, and god Almande mylk.
    • circa 1430 (reprinted 1888), Thomas Austin (editor), Two Fifteenth-century Cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55, London: N. Trübner & Co. for the Early English Text Society, volume I (Original Series; 91), OCLC 374760, page 11:
      Soupes dorye. — Take gode almaunde mylke [] caste þher-to Safroun an Salt []
  3. (countable, informal) An individual serving of milk.
    Table three ordered three milks. (Formally: The guests at table three ordered three glasses of milk.)
  4. The ripe, undischarged spat of an oyster.
  5. (uncountable, slang) Semen.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
  • Chuukese: minik
  • Gilbertese: miriki
  • Japanese: ミルク (miruku)
  • Korean: 밀크 (milkeu)
  • Yiddish: מילך(milkh‎)

See milk/translations § Noun.


Etymology 2[edit]

Milking a cow at Ambrose's farm, Raglan, Queensland, 1912

From Old English melcan, from Proto-Germanic *melkaną, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂melǵ-, the same root as the noun. Compare Dutch and German melken, Danish malke, Norwegian mjølke, also Latin mulgeō (I milk), Ancient Greek ἀμέλγω (amélgō, I milk), Albanian mjel (to milk), Russian молоко́ (molokó), Lithuanian mélžti, Tocharian A mālk-.


milk (third-person singular simple present milks, present participle milking, simple past and past participle milked)

  1. (transitive) To express milk from (a mammal, especially a cow).
    The farmer milked his cows.
  2. (transitive) To draw (milk) from the breasts or udder.
    to milk wholesome milk from healthy cows
  3. (transitive) To express any liquid (from any creature).
  4. (transitive, figuratively) To make excessive use of (a particular point in speech or writing, a source of funds, etc.); to exploit; to take advantage of (something).
    When the audience began laughing, the comedian milked the joke for more laughs.
    • 2018 August 27, Daniel Taylor, “Lucas Moura double for Spurs deepens gloom at Manchester United”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      If nothing else, José Mourinho can be grateful there was no mutiny. He still heard his name being sung and at the final whistle Old Trafford was not too unkind on the manager or his players. He milked it, too, marching over to the Stretford End to thank them for their generosity.
    • (Can we date this quote by London Spectator and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      They [the lawyers] milk an unfortunate estate as regularly as a dairyman does his stock.
  5. (of an electrical storage battery) To give off small gas bubbles during the final part of the charging operation.
  6. (transitive, slang) To single-mindedly masturbate a male to ejaculation, especially for the amusement and/or satisfaction of the masturbator/trix rather than the person masturbated.
    Controlled milking can actually establish and consolidate a mistress’ dominance over her sub rather than diminish it.
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]

Further reading[edit]



Alternative forms[edit]


From Old Norse mjǫlk, from Proto-Germanic *meluks.



milk m

  1. milk