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1. Beasts or quadrupeds in general, serving for tillage, or other labor, and for food to man. In its primary sense, the word includes camels, horses, asses, all the varieties of domesticated horned beasts or the bovine genus, sheep of all kinds and goats, and perhaps swine. In this general sense, it is constantly used in the scriptures. See Job
1:3. Hence it would appear that the word properly signifies possessions, goods. But whether from a word originally signifying a beast, for in early ages beasts constituted the chief part of a mans property, or from a root signifying to get or possess. This word is restricted to domestic beasts; but in England it includes horses, which it ordinarily does not, in the United States, at least not in New-England.
2. In the United States, cattle, in common usage, signifies only beasts of the bovine genus, oxen, bulls, cows and their young. In the laws respecting domestic beasts, horses, sheep, asses, mules and swine are distinguished from cattle, or neat cattle. Thus the law in Connecticut, requiring that all the owners of any cattle, sheep or swine, shall ear-mark or brand all their cattle, sheep and swine, does not extend to horses. Yet it is probable that a law, giving damages for a trespass committed by cattle breaking into an inclosure, would be adjudged to include horses.
In Great Britain, beasts are distinguished into black cattle, including bulls, oxen, cows and their young; and small cattle, including sheep of all kinds and goats.
3. In reproach, human beings are called cattle.
1: domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age; "so many head of cattle"; "wait till the cows come home"; "seven thin and ill-favored kine"- Bible; "a team of oxen" [syn: cattle, cows, kine, oxen, Bos taurus]
noun plural Etymology: Middle English catel, from Anglo-French katil, chatel personal property, from Medieval Latin capitale, from Latin, neuter of capitalis of the head — more at capital Date: 14th century 1. domesticated quadrupeds held as property or raised for use; specifically bovine animals on a farm or ranch 2. human beings especially en masse
Domesticated bovids that are raised for meat, milk, or hides or for draft purposes. Depending on the breed, mature bulls (fertile males) weigh 1,000-4,000 lbs (450-1,800 kg); cows (fertile females) weigh 800-2,400 lbs (360-1,080 kg). All modern cattle are believed to belong to either of two species (Bos indicus or B. taurus) or to be crosses of the two. About 277 identifiable breeds include those prominent in beef production (e.g., Angus, Hereford, and shorthorn) and dairy farming. Cattle feed primarily by grazing on pasture, but in modern farming their diet is ordinarily supplemented with prepared animal feeds. See also aurochs, Brahman, ox.
n.pl. 1 any bison, buffalo, yak, or domesticated bovine animal, esp. of the genus Bos. 2 archaic livestock. Phrases and idioms: cattle-cake Brit. a concentrated food for cattle, in cake form. cattle-grid Brit. a grid covering a ditch, allowing vehicles to pass over but not cattle, sheep, etc. cattle-guard US = cattle-grid. cattle-plague rinderpest. cattle-stop NZ = cattle-grid. Etymology: ME & AF catel f. OF chatel CHATTEL
Cattle Cat"tle (k[a^]t"t'l), n. pl. [OE. calet, chatel, goods, property, OF. catel, chatel, LL. captale, capitale, goods, property, esp. cattle, fr. L. capitals relating to the head, chief; because in early ages beasts constituted the chief part of a man's property. See Capital, and cf. Chattel.] Quadrupeds of the Bovine family; sometimes, also, including all domestic quadrupeds, as sheep, goats, horses, mules, asses, and swine. Belted cattle, Black cattle. See under Belted, Black. Cattle guard, a trench under a railroad track and alongside a crossing (as of a public highway). It is intended to prevent cattle from getting upon the track. cattle louse (Zo["o]l.), any species of louse infecting cattle. There are several species. The H[ae]matatopinus eurysternus and H. vituli are common species which suck blood; Trichodectes scalaris eats the hair. Cattle plague, the rinderpest; called also Russian cattle plague. Cattle range, or Cattle run, an open space through which cattle may run or range. [U. S.] --Bartlett. Cattle show, an exhibition of domestic animals with prizes for the encouragement of stock breeding; -- usually accompanied with the exhibition of other agricultural and domestic products and of implements.
Cattle are cows and bulls. ...the finest herd of beef cattle for two hundred miles. N-PLURAL
abounded in the Holy Land. To the rearing and management of them the inhabitants chiefly devoted themselves (Deut. 8:13; 12:21; 1 Sam. 11:5; 12:3; Ps. 144:14; Jer. 3:24). They may be classified as,
(1.) Neat cattle. Many hundreds of these were yearly consumed in sacrifices or used for food. The finest herds were found in Bashan, beyond Jordan (Num. 32:4). Large herds also pastured on the wide fertile plains of Sharon. They were yoked to the plough (1 Kings 19:19), and were employed for carrying burdens (1 Chr. 12:40). They were driven with a pointed rod (Judg. 3:31) or goad (q.v.).
According to the Mosaic law, the mouths of cattle employed for the threshing-floor were not to be muzzled, so as to prevent them from eating of the provender over which they trampled (Deut. 25:4). Whosoever stole and sold or slaughtered an ox must give five in satisfaction (Ex. 22:1); but if it was found alive in the possession of him who stole it, he was required to make double restitution only (22:4). If an ox went astray, whoever found it was required to bring it back to its owner (23:4; Deut. 22:1, 4). An ox and an ass could not be yoked together in the plough (Deut. 22:10).
(2.) Small cattle. Next to herds of neat cattle, sheep formed the most important of the possessions of the inhabitants of Palestine (Gen. 12:16; 13:5; 26:14; 21:27; 29:2, 3). They are frequently mentioned among the booty taken in war (Num. 31:32; Josh. 6:21; 1 Sam. 14:32; 15:3). There were many who were owners of large flocks (1 Sam. 25:2; 2 Sam. 12:2, comp. Job 1:3). Kings also had shepherds "over their flocks" (1 Chr. 27:31), from which they derived a large portion of their revenue (2 Sam. 17:29; 1 Chr. 12:40). The districts most famous for their flocks of sheep were the plain of Sharon (Isa. 65: 10), Mount Carmel (Micah 7:14), Bashan and Gilead (Micah 7:14). In patriarchal times the flocks of sheep were sometimes tended by the daughters of the owners. Thus Rachel, the daughter of Laban, kept her father's sheep (Gen. 29:9); as also Zipporah and her six sisters had charge of their father Jethro's flocks (Ex. 2:16). Sometimes they were kept by hired shepherds (John 10:12), and sometimes by the sons of the family (1 Sam. 16:11; 17:15). The keepers so familiarized their sheep with their voices that they knew them, and followed them at their call. Sheep, but more especially rams and lambs, were frequently offered in sacrifice. The shearing of sheep was a great festive occasion (1 Sam. 25:4; 2 Sam. 13:23). They were folded at night, and guarded by their keepers against the attacks of the lion (Micah 5:8), the bear (1 Sam. 17:34), and the wolf (Matt. 10:16; John 10:12). They were liable to wander over the wide pastures and go astray (Ps. 119:176; Isa. 53:6; Hos. 4:16; Matt. 18:12).
Goats also formed a part of the pastoral wealth of Palestine (Gen. 15:9; 32:14; 37:31). They were used both for sacrifice and for food (Deut. 14:4), especially the young males (Gen. 27:9, 14, 17; Judg. 6:19; 13:15; 1 Sam. 16:20). Goat's hair was used for making tent cloth (Ex. 26:7; 36:14), and for mattresses and bedding (1 Sam. 19:13, 16). (See GOAT.)
kat'-'-l (behemah, "a dumb beast"; miqneh, "a possession" from qanah, "to acquire" (compare Arabic qana', "to acquire," and Greek kienos, "beast," and plural ktenea, "flocks," from ktaomai, "to acquire," flocks being both with the Homeric peoples and with the patriarchs an important form of property; compare English "fee"); tso'n "small cattle," "sheep" or goats (compare Arabic da'n, "sheep"); seh, a single sheep or goat (compare Arabic shah); mela'khah, "property," from la'akh, "to minister" (compare Arabic malakah and mulk, "property," from malak, "to possess"); meri' "fatling" (1Ki 19); thremma (Joh 4:12), "cattle," i.e. "that which is nourished," from trepho, "to nourish"; baqar, "kine," "oxen" (compare Arabic baqar, "cattle"); shor, tor (Da 4:25), tauros (Mt 22:4), "ox" or "bull"; bous, "ox" (Lu 13:15); 'eleph, only in the plural, 'alaphim, "oxen" (Ps 8:7)): From the foregoing and by examination of the many references to "cattle," "kine" or "oxen" it is apparent that there are important points of contact in derivation and usage in the Hebrew, Greek and English terms. It is evident that neat cattle were possessed in abundance by the patriarchs and later Israelites, which is fax from being the case in Palestine at the present day. The Bedouin usually have no cattle. The fellachin in most parts of the country keep them in small numbers, mostly for plowing, and but little for milk or for slaughtering. Travelers in the Holy Land realize that goat's milk is in most places easier to obtain than cow's milk. The commonest cattle of the fellachin are a small black breed. In the vicinity of Damascus are many large, fine milch cattle which furnish the delicious milk and cream of the Damascus bazaars. For some reason, probably because they are not confined and highly fed, the bulls of Palestine are meek creatures as compared with their European or American fellows.
In English Versions of the Bible the word "cattle" is more often used in a wide sense to include sheep and goats than to denote merely neat cattle. In fact, baqar, which distinctively denotes neat cattle, is often rendered "herds," as tso'n, literally "sheep," is in a large number of instances translated "flocks." A good illustration is found in Ge 32:7: "Then Jacob .... divided the, people (`am) that were with him, and the flocks (tso'n), and the herds (baqar), and the camels (gemallim), into two companies (machanoth)." For the last word the King James Version has "drove" in Ge 33:8, the Revised Version (British and American) "company." Next to tso'n, the word most commonly rendered "flock" in English Versions of the Bible is `edher, from root "to arrange," "to set in order." `Edher is rendered "herd" in Pr 27:23, and in Joe 1:18 it occurs twice, being rendered "herds of cattle," `edhre baqar, and "flocks of sheep," `edhre ha-tso'n. Miqneh is rendered "flock" in Nu 32:26, "herd" in Ge 47:18, and "cattle" in a large number of passages. Other words rendered "flock" are: mar`ith (r. ra`ah (Arabic ra`a), "to pasture"), once in Jer 10:21; `ashteroth tso'n, "flocks of thy sheep," the Revised Version (British and American) "young of thy flock," in De 7:13, etc., `ashiaroth being plural of `ashtoreth, or Ashtoreth; chasiph, once in 1Ki 20:27: "The Children of Israel encamped before them (the Syrians) like two little flocks of kids," chasiph signifying "something stripped off or separated," from root chasaph, "to strip" or "to peel," like the Arabic qaTi`, "flock," from root qaTa`, "to cut off"; poimne (Mt 26:31): "The sheep of the flock shall be scattered," and (Lu 2:8): "keeping watch by night over their flock"; poimnion (Lu 12:32): "Fear not, little flock," and (1Pe 5:2): "Tend the flock of God which is among you." Figurative: Not only poimne and poimnion but also `edher and tso'n are used figuratively of God's people; e.g. Isa 40:11: "He will feed his flock (`edher) like a shepherd"; Zec 10:3: "Yahweh of hosts hath visited his flock ([`edher]), the house of Judah"; Isa 65:10: "And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks" (tso'n); Jer 23:2: "Ye have scattered my flock" (tso'n); Eze 34:22: "Therefore will I save my flock" (tso'n); Mic 7:14: "Feed .... the flock (tso'n) of thy heritage."
The wild ox or wild bull, the Revised Version (British and American) "antelope" (te'o or to' of De 14:5 and Isa 51:20), is considered by the writer to be probably the Arabian oryx, and in this he is in agreement with Tristram (NHB). Tristram however thinks that the unicorn (rem or re'em), the Revised Version (British and American) "wild ox," was the aurochs, while the present writer believes that this also may well have been the oryx, which at the present day has at least three names in Arabic, one of which, baqar-ul-wachsh, means "wild ox."
Our domestic cattle are believed by some of the best authorities to be of the same species as the ancient European wild ox or aurochs, Bos taurus, which is by others counted as a distinct species under the title of Bos primigenius The aurochs was widely spread over Europe in Roman times, but is now extinct. Some degenerate wild cattle are preserved in some British parks, but these according to Lydekker in the Royal Natural History are probably feral descendants of early domestic breeds. Tristram cites the occurrence in the Dog River bone breccia of teeth which may be those of the aurochs, but this is a deposit accumulated by prehistoric man of an unknown antiquity to be variously estimated according to the predilections of the geologist at a few thousands or a few score of thousands of years, and is far from proving that this animal existed in Palestine in Bible times or at any time.
The European bison (Bos or Bison bonassus) is thought by some to be the wild ox of the Bible. This is a forest-dwelling species and is now confined to the forests of Lithuania and the Caucasus. It was formerly more widely distributed, but there is no certain evidence that it ever lived as far South as Palestine, and there have probably never existed in Palestine forests suitable to be the haunts of this animal.
About the Sea of Tiberias and the Jordan valley and in the plain of Coele-Syria there exist today Indian buffaloes (Bos bubalus) some feral and some in a state of domestication, which are believed to have been introduced in comparatively recent times.
See BEAST; CALF.
Alfred Ely Day
n. pl. 1. Bovine quadrupeds, dumb beasts. 2. Human trash, rabble, riff-raff. See canaille.
Sad cattle: whores or gypsies. Black cattle, bugs. Cant.
Alderney, Animalia, Ayrshire, Brahman, Chiroptera, Dexter, Durham, Dutch Belted, Galloway, Hereford, Holstein, Indian buffalo, Jersey, Lagomorpha, Longhorn, Polled Hereford, Primates, Red Poll, Red Polled, Rodentia, Santa Gertrudis, Shorthorn, Sussex, Welsh, Welsh Black, West Highland, and fish, animal kingdom, animal life, animality, aurochs, beasts, beasts of field, beasts of prey, beef, beef cattle, beeves, big game, birds, bison, bossy, bovine, bovine animal, brute creation, buffalo, bull, bullock, calf, carabao, chaff, cow, critter, dairy cattle, dairy cow, dogie, domestic animals, dregs, dregs of society, fauna, furry creatures, game, heifer, hornless cow, kine, leppy, livestock, maverick, milch cow, milcher, milk cow, milker, muley cow, muley head, musk-ox, neat, offscourings, offscum, ox, oxen, raff, riffraff, rubbish, scum, small game, sordes, steer, stirk, stock, stot, swinish multitude, trash, vermin, wild animals, wildlife, wisent, yak, yearling, zebu