from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. Any of various chiefly domesticated mammals of the genus Bos, including cows, steers, bulls, and oxen, often raised for meat and dairy products.
- n.pl. Humans, especially when viewed contemptuously or as a mob.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Domesticated bovine animals (cows, bulls, steers etc).
- n. Certain other livestock, such as sheep, pigs or horses.
- n. People who resemble domesticated bovine animals in behavior or destiny.
- n. chattel
- n. Used in restricted contexts to refer to the meat derived from cattle.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. Quadrupeds of the Bovine family; sometimes, also, including all domestic quadrupeds, as sheep, goats, horses, mules, asses, and swine.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Property; goods; chattels; stock: in this sense now only in the form chattel (which see).
- Live stock; domestic quadrupeds which serve for tillage or other labor, or as food for man.
- Human beings: in contempt or ridicule.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age
Middle English catel, property, livestock, from Old North French, from Old Provençal capdal, from Medieval Latin capitāle, holdings, funds, from neuter of Latin capitālis, principal, original, from caput, head; see kaput- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English catel, from Anglo-Norman catel ("personal property"), from Old Northern French (compare French cheptel, Old French chetel, chatel, also English chattel) from Medieval Latin capitale, from Latin capitalis ("of the head"), from caput 'head' + -alis '-al'. (Wiktionary)