Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Giving milk: a milch cow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Giving milk
  • adj. Tender; pitiful; weeping.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Giving milk; -- now applied only to beasts.
  • adj. Tender; pitiful; weeping.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Giving milk; furnishing milk: as, a milch cow: now applied only to domestic animals, and chiefly to cows.
  • Milky: said of plants.
  • Yielding liquid; distilling drops (namely, tears).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. giving milk; bred or suitable primarily for milk production

Etymologies

Middle English milche, from Old English -milce (in thrīmilce, May, month when cows can be milked thrice a day); see melg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English milche, melch, from Old English meolc, meolce ("giving milk, milch"), from Proto-Germanic *melkaz (“milky, milk-giving”), from Proto-Indo-European *mÁlg- (“to wipe, wipe off, milk”). Cognate with Low German melke ("milch"), German melk ("milk-giving, milch"), Icelandic milkur, mjólkur ("milk-giving"). More at milk. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • She will not be known as a milch cow long; she will be a low grade of corned beef, a couple of flank steaks and a few pairs of three-dollar shoes.

    Goat-Feathers

  • We tried their traditional aelpi milch, which is milk with liquor.

    TravelPod.com TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at TravelPod.com

  • The NNPC has had the reputation in the past as a kind of milch cow, with millions taken from its reserves due to alleged political interference, embezzlement and administrative incompetence.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • America — ­at this last she smiled affectionately with memory of the great controversy he had waged for the beef cow and the milch cow as against the dual purpose cow.

    CHAPTER XXVIII

  • Most people didn't recognize the quote, but Simpson was probably attempting to channel H.L. Mencken's line about government itself, which Mencken called "a milch-cow with 125 million teats" (the population of the United States at the time).

    Richard (RJ) Eskow: Annoying Alan Simpson: The 310,000,001st Reason to Vote

  • He stole from the Federal Government, at a prodigal increase of salary, its star specialist in livestock breeding, and by similar misconduct he robbed the University of Nebraska of its greatest milch cow professor, and broke the heart of the Dean of the College of Agriculture of the University of California by appropriating Professor Nirdenhammer, the wizard of farm management.

    CHAPTER VI

  • North Korea last week confirmed an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, with its state-run news agency saying that "more than 10,000 heads of draught oxen, milch cows and pigs have so far been infected with the diseases and thousands of them died."

    Starving N. Korea begs for food, but U.S. has concerns about resuming aid

  • Labour, however, has always had a down, publicly at any rate, on wealth and wealth creation, seeing wealth and the wealthy merely as a milch cow to enable money be transferred over to the non-productive element of society who are thus made Labour's clients and core vote.

    Clive Betts: Sleazocrat & Porkocrat

  • Labour aren't interested as they just regard the private sector as a milch cow to be harvested until it dies.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

  • It also produces a bureaucratic leviathan that hands the people over to their government from cradle to grave; a government that uses it as milch cow in myriad corrupt deals and patronage of cronies in bent kick-back contracts and no-show jobs.

    Tony Blair: The Next Labour Prime Minister?

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Comments

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  • What an interesting etymology!

    January 3, 2013

  • from the indo-european root melg- see galenious

    July 25, 2010