from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various hoofed, even-toed, usually horned mammals of the suborder Ruminantia, such as cattle, sheep, deer, antelopes, and giraffes, characteristically having a stomach divided into four compartments and chewing a cud that consists of plant food that is regurgitated when partially digested.
  • noun Any of various animals that ruminate but are not in the Ruminantia, including camels, alpacas, and llamas.
  • adjective Characterized by the chewing of cud.
  • adjective Of or belonging to the Ruminantia.
  • adjective Meditative; contemplative.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Ruminating; chewing the cud; belonging to the Ruminantia, or having their characters.
  • Hence, thoughtful; meditative; quiet.
  • noun An animal that chews the cud; any member of the Ruminantia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Zoöl.) Chewing the cud; characterized by chewing again what has been swallowed; of or pertaining to the Ruminantia.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A ruminant animal; one of the Ruminantia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Chewing cud.
  • noun An artiodactyl ungulate mammal which chews cud, such as a cow or deer.

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

  • noun any of various cud-chewing hoofed mammals having a stomach divided into four (occasionally three) compartments
  • adjective related to or characteristic of animals of the suborder Ruminantia or any other animal that chews a cud


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

[From Latin rūmināns, rūminant-, present participle of rūmināre, to ruminate; see ruminate.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin rumino, to chew the cud


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  • It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another.

    Nineteen Eighty-Four 1949

  • If you want to subsist solely on weeds like some sort of bipedal ruminant, that is your right - go for it.

    TED 2008: Crow vending machine maker Joshua Klein - Boing Boing 2008

  • When a cow eats infected tissue -- it's called the ruminant feed that they used to get this from -- it can take as much as eight years for that cow to start showing symptoms.

    CNN Transcript Dec 23, 2003 2003

  • My word of the day is "ruminant", in case anyone is wondering.

    HH Com 160 Miss Snark 2006

  • A ruminant is a mammal that digests plant-based food by initially softening it within the animal’s first stomach, known as the rumen, then regurgitating the semi-digested mass, now known as cud, and chewing it again.

    CSI: Miami – “Bad Seed” Review 2009

  • I sometimes think I am the only really sane man aboard the vessel -- except perhaps the second engineer, who is a kind of ruminant, and would care nothing for all the fiends in the Red Sea so long as they would leave him alone and not disarrange his tools.

    The Captain of the Polestar and other Tales 1894

  • Other healthy green practices include eschewing trans fat, using fewer "ruminant" meats such as beef and lamb, reducing food waste (by serving smaller portions) and using biodegradables.

    All Topics 2010

  • a kind of ruminant, and would care nothing for all the fiends in the Red

    The Captain of the Polestar Arthur Conan Doyle 1894

  • Hector proves this was not a mistake and these are precisely the sort of people who buy into this ruminant evacutation. fostert Says:

    Matthew Yglesias » The Gaza Tunnels 2009

  • Humans do not possess either the digestive enzymes or the multiple-pouched digestive system enjoyed by ruminant animals, which are capable of consuming and being well-nourished by grain-based carbohydrates in their naturally-occurring state.

    Georgianna Donadio, MSc, Ph.D., D.C.: Rethinking Grain-Based Carbohydrates Part II Georgianna Donadio 2011


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  • Villa

    It's time,

    I've learned enough,

    I'm going from the world awhile

    to my imagined Villa,

    I cannot wait to see it,

    Queen Ann's lace,

    and careless daisies,

    will smile as I pass,

    On a hill,

    happy ruminants,

    deep peace in a heaven of grass.


    November 5, 2009