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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Sheep'

Sheep Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    sheep n
  1. woolly usually horned ruminant mammal related to the goat
  2. a timid defenseless simpleton who is readily preyed upon
  3. a docile and vulnerable person who would rather follow than make an independent decision; "his students followed him like sheep"
Sheep Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Sheep \Sheep\, n. sing. & pl. [OE. shep, scheep, AS. sc?p, sce['a]p; akin to OFries. sk?p, LG. & D. schaap, G. schaf, OHG. sc[=a]f, Skr. ch[=a]ga. [root]29
  1. Cf. Sheepherd.]
  2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of several species of ruminants of the genus Ovis, native of the higher mountains of both hemispheres, but most numerous in Asia. Note: The domestic sheep (Ovis aries) varies much in size, in the length and texture of its wool, the form and size of its horns, the length of its tail, etc. It was domesticated in prehistoric ages, and many distinct breeds have been produced; as the merinos, celebrated for their fine wool; the Cretan sheep, noted for their long horns; the fat-tailed, or Turkish, sheep, remarkable for the size and fatness of the tail, which often has to be supported on trucks; the Southdowns, in which the horns are lacking; and an Asiatic breed which always has four horns.
  3. A weak, bashful, silly fellow. --Ainsworth.
  4. pl. Fig.: The people of God, as being under the government and protection of Christ, the great Shepherd. Rocky mountain sheep.(Zo["o]l.) See Bighorn. Maned sheep. (Zo["o]l.) See Aoudad. Sheep bot (Zo["o]l.), the larva of the sheep botfly. See Estrus. Sheep dog (Zo["o]l.), a shepherd dog, or collie. Sheep laurel (Bot.), a small North American shrub (Kalmia angustifolia}) with deep rose-colored flowers in corymbs. Sheep pest (Bot.), an Australian plant (Ac[ae]na ovina) related to the burnet. The fruit is covered with barbed spines, by which it adheres to the wool of sheep. Sheep run, an extensive tract of country where sheep range and graze. Sheep's beard (Bot.), a cichoraceous herb (Urospermum Dalechampii}) of Southern Europe; -- so called from the conspicuous pappus of the achenes. Sheep's bit (Bot.), a European herb (Jasione montana) having much the appearance of scabious. Sheep pox (Med.), a contagious disease of sheep, characterixed by the development of vesicles or pocks upon the skin. Sheep scabious. (Bot.) Same as Sheep's bit. Sheep shears, shears in which the blades form the two ends

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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Sheep'

A domestic sheep (Ovis aries) is a domesticated mammal related to wild sheep and goats. It is a type of cattle, and is owned and looked after by a sheep farmer. Female sheep are called ewes. Male sheep are called rams. Young are called lambs.

They are kept for their wool and their meat. The wool of sheep, after cleaning and treating, is used to make woollen clothes. The meat of young sheep is called lamb, and the meat from adult sheep is called mutton. Both are economically important products which have been used since prehistoric times.

Sheep are domesticated animals which have been bred by man. There are breeds which specialise in wool or meat.

A group of sheep is called a flock. Sheep follow each other in basically the same way all the time, so there are special names for the different roles sheep play in a flock. The sheep that is farthest away from the others is called the outlier, a word that is also used in statistics. This sheep is willing to go out farther away from the safety of the flock to graze, but takes a chance that a predator like a wolf will attack it first, because it is alone. Another sheep, the bellwether, which never goes first but always follows an outlier, is the one that signals to the others that it is safe to go that way. When it moves, the others will also move. Tendency to be outliers or to be bellwethers, or stick in the middle of the flock, seems to stay with a sheep its whole life. There might be genes that make them repeat this role behaviour.

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'Sheep' in famous quotation sentence

* You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men. - Max Beerbohm

* He that visits the sick in hopes of a legacy, but is never so friendly in all other cases, I look upon him as being no better than a raven that watches a weak sheep only to peck out its eyes. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

* In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep. - Albert Einstein

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