an opaque white or bluish-white liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals, serving for the nourishment of their young.
this liquid as secreted by cows, goats, or certain other animals and used by humans for food or as a source of butter, cheeses, yogurt, etc.
any liquid resembling this, as the liquid within a coconut, the juice or sap of certain plants, or various pharmaceutical preparations.
verb (used with object)
to press or draw milk from the udder or breast of.
to extract something from as if by milking.
to get something from; exploit:
The swindler milked her of all her savings.
to extract; draw out:
He’s good at milking laughs from the audience.
verb (used without object)
to yield milk, as a cow.
to milk a cow or other mammal.
cry over spilled milk, to lament what cannot be changed or corrected; express sorrow for past actions or events:
Crying over spilled milk will do you no good now.
any similar fluid in plants, such as the juice of a coconut
any of various milklike pharmaceutical preparations, such as milk of magnesia
cry over spilt milk, to lament something that cannot be altered
to draw milk from the udder of (a cow, goat, or other animal)
(intransitive) (of cows, goats, or other animals) to yield milk
(transitive) to draw off or tap in small quantities: to milk the petty cash
(transitive) to extract as much money, help, etc, as possible from: to milk a situation of its news value
(transitive) to extract venom, sap, etc, from
Old English meoluc (West Saxon), milc (Anglian), from Proto-Germanic *meluks “milk” (cf. Old Norse mjolk, Old Frisian melok, Old Saxon miluk, Dutch melk, Old High German miluh, German Milch, Gothic miluks), from *melk- “to milk,” from PIE root *melg- “to wipe, to rub off,” also “to stroke; to milk,” in reference to the hand motion involved in milking an animal (cf. Greek amelgein, Latin mulgere, Old Church Slavonic mlesti, Lithuanian melžu “to milk,” Old Irish melg “milk,” Sanskrit marjati “wipes off”). Old Church Slavonic noun meleko (Russian moloko, Czech mleko) is considered to be adopted from Germanic.
Of milk-like plant juices from late 14c. Milk chocolate is first recorded 1723; milk shake is first recorded 1889, for a variety of creations, but the modern version is only from the 1930s. Milk tooth (1727) uses the word in its figurative sense “period of infancy,” attested from 17c. To cry over spilt milk is first attested 1836 in writing of Canadian humorist Thomas C. Haliburton. Milk and honey is from the Old Testament phrase describing the richness of the Promised Land (Num. xvi:13, Old English meolc and hunie). Milk of human kindness is from “Macbeth” (1605).
Old English melcan, milcian, meolcian “to milk, give milk, suckle,” from Proto-Germanic *melk- “to milk” (cf. Dutch melken, Old High German melchan, German melken), from PIE root *melg- (see milk (n.)). Figurative sense of “exploit for profit” is first found 1520s. Related: Milked; milking.
v. milked, milk·ing, milks
A white liquid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals for feeding their young beginning immediately after birth. Milk is an emulsion of proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and sugars, especially lactose, in water. The proteins in milk contain all the essential amino acids.
(1.) Hebrew halabh, “new milk”, milk in its fresh state (Judg. 4:19). It is frequently mentioned in connection with honey (Ex. 3:8; 13:5; Josh. 5:6; Isa. 7:15, 22; Jer. 11:5). Sheep (Deut. 32:14) and goats (Prov. 27:27) and camels (Gen. 32:15), as well as cows, are made to give their milk for the use of man. Milk is used figuratively as a sign of abundance (Gen. 49:12; Ezek. 25:4; Joel 3:18). It is also a symbol of the rudiments of doctrine (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13), and of the unadulterated word of God (1 Pet. 2:2). (2.) Heb. hem’ah, always rendered “butter” in the Authorized Version. It means “butter,” but also more frequently “cream,” or perhaps, as some think, “curdled milk,” such as that which Abraham set before the angels (Gen. 18:8), and which Jael gave to Sisera (Judg. 5:25). In this state milk was used by travellers (2 Sam. 17:29). If kept long enough, it acquired a slightly intoxicating or soporific power. This Hebrew word is also sometimes used for milk in general (Deut. 32:14; Job 20:17).
In addition to the idiom beginning with milk
noun 1. . noun 1. any of numerous, usually brightly marked king snakes of the subspecies Lampropeltis triangulum (doliata), of North America. noun 1. a nonvenomous brown-and-grey North American colubrid snake Lampropeltis doliata, related to the king snakes
- Milk-alkali syndrome
milk-alkali syndrome n. A chronic disorder of the kidneys that resembles nephrosis and is induced by protracted therapy of peptic ulcer with alkalis and a high milk regimen; reversible in early stages.
[milk-uh n-waw-ter, -wot-er] /ˈmɪlk ənˈwɔ tər, -ˈwɒt ər/ adjective 1. ineffective; wishy-washy; lacking will or strength. adjective 1. (milk and water when postpositive) weak, feeble, or insipid
noun 1. a place for collection and storage of human milk for dispensing to those who require it, as for infants who are allergic to cows’ milk and whose mothers’ milk is unavailable.