a. Ruminant mammals of the genus Bos that have been domesticated and are often raised for meat and dairy products. Cows, steers, bulls, and oxen are cattle.
b. Similar wild or domesticated bovine animals, such as anoas or gaurs.
2. Humans, especially when viewed contemptuously or as a mob.
[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 the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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