See also: Milk


A glass of cow's milk.


Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English milk, mylk, melk, mulc, from Old English meolc, meoluc (milk), from Proto-West Germanic *meluk, from Proto-Germanic *meluks, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂melǵ-.


milk (countable and uncountable, plural milks)

  1. (uncountable) A white liquid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals to nourish their young. From certain animals, especially cows, it is also called dairy milk and is a common food for humans as a beverage or used to produce various dairy products such as butter, cheese, and yogurt.
    Synonyms: dairy milk, (often implied) cowmilk
    Skyr is a product made of curdled milk.
    • 2007 September 24, Chris Horseman (interviewee), Emily Harris (reporter), “Global Dairy Demand Drives Up Prices”, Morning Edition, National Public Radio
      [] there's going to be that much less milk available to cover any other uses. Which means whether it's liquid milk or whether it's [milk that's been turned into] cheese or yogurt, the price gets pulled up right across the board.
    • 2017, Adam Rutherford, A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, The Experiment, →ISBN, page 75:
      In the West it's' fairly normal to drink milk in various forms into adulthood.
  2. (uncountable, by extension) A white (or whitish) liquid obtained from a vegetable source such as almonds, coconuts, oats, rice, and/or soy beans.
    Synonyms: m*lk, mylk, non-dairy milk, plant milk
    • 2018 September 16, Alexandra Spring, “'Milk' mania: why most alternatives aren't great – but camel milk just might be”, in The Guardian[2]:
      Where it does fall down, however, is its nutritional value. While oats are largely a healthy grain to include in your diet, the milk is highly diluted with water, giving it little nutritional value.
    • 2020 January 29, Annette McGivney, “Almonds are out. Dairy is a disaster. So what milk should we drink?”, in The Guardian[3]:
      For environmentally minded consumers, the news is hard to swallow: almond milk is not healthy for the planet and the popular milk substitute is especially hard on bees.
  3. (countable, informal) An individual serving of milk.
    Table three ordered three milks.
    (Formally: The guests at table three ordered three glasses of milk.)
  4. (countable or invariant) An individual portion of milk, such as found in a creamer, for tea and coffee.
    I take my tea with two milk(s) and two sugar.
    • 2014, Don Eggspuehler, Teachings From Pop, Author House (→ISBN), page 459:
      She just sat there drinking cup after cup of strong coffee, with two milks and two sugars.
    • 2015, Carolyn Arnold, City of Gold: (Mathew Connor Adventure Series Book 1), Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc. (→ISBN)
      Five minutes later, he returned with Justin's large coffee with two milk and two sweeteners and a black coffee for himself.
    • 2019, Maggie Blackbird, Redeemed: The Matawapit Family Series, #1, eXtasy Books (→ISBN), page 349:
      Mrs. Dale huffed up to the counter and fired her battle-axe stare at the attendant. “One medium tea. ... Two double-doubles, and one with two milk and two sweeteners.”
    • 2020, John Mitton, Tedmund and the Murdered Heiress, Page Publishing, Inc (→ISBN)
      She placed on her desk a brown paper bag; it held her breakfast, cream cheese on a toasted bagel and coffee with two milks and one sugar.
  5. The ripe, undischarged spat of an oyster.
  6. (uncountable, slang) Semen.
Derived termsEdit
Related termsEdit
  • Chuukese: minik
  • Gamilaraay: milambaraay
  • Gilbertese: miriki
  • Japanese: ミルク (miruku)
  • Korean: 밀크 (milkeu)
  • Lingala: míliki
  • Maori: miraka
  • Marshallese: milik
  • Volapük: milig
  • Yoruba: mílíìkì
Usage notesEdit

Following a 2017 EU court ruling,[2] the term milk cannot be used to market purely plant-based products (sense 2) in the EU.


See milk/translations § Noun.

Etymology 2Edit

Milking a cow at Ambrose's farm, Raglan, Queensland, 1912

From Middle English milken, from Old English melcan, from Proto-Germanic *melkaną, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂melǵ-, the same root as the noun. Compare Dutch and German melken, Danish malke, Norwegian mjølke, also Latin mulgeō (I milk), Ancient Greek ἀμέλγω (amélgō, I milk), Albanian mjel (to milk), Russian молоко́ (molokó), Lithuanian mélžti, Tocharian A mālk-.


milk (third-person singular simple present milks, present participle milking, simple past and past participle milked)

  1. (transitive) To express milk from (a mammal, especially a cow).
    The farmer milked his cows.
  2. (transitive) To draw (milk) from the breasts or udder.
    to milk wholesome milk from healthy cows
  3. (transitive) To express any liquid (from any creature).
  4. (transitive, figuratively) To make excessive use of (a particular point in speech or writing, a source of funds, etc.); to exploit; to take advantage of (something).
    When the audience began laughing, the comedian milked the joke for more laughs.
    • July 21, 1877, "The Block in the Courts" in The Spectator
      They [the lawyers] milk an unfortunate estate as regularly as a dairyman does his stock.
    • 2018 August 27, Daniel Taylor, “Lucas Moura double for Spurs deepens gloom at Manchester United”, in The Guardian (London)[4]:
      If nothing else, José Mourinho can be grateful there was no mutiny. He still heard his name being sung and at the final whistle Old Trafford was not too unkind on the manager or his players. He milked it, too, marching over to the Stretford End to thank them for their generosity.
  5. (of an electrical storage battery) To give off small gas bubbles during the final part of the charging operation.
  6. (transitive, sex slang) To single-mindedly masturbate a male to ejaculation, especially for the amusement and/or satisfaction of the masturbator/trix rather than the person masturbated.
    Synonym: masturbate
    Controlled milking can actually establish and consolidate a mistress’ dominance over her sub rather than diminish it.
    (The addition of quotations indicative of this usage is being sought:)
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Arden R. Thorum, Phonetics: A Contemporary Approach (2013), page 107
  2. ^ “Judgment of the Court (Seventh Chamber) of 14 June 2017”, in EUR-Lex[1], 14 June 2017: “The term “milk” shall mean exclusively the normal mammary secretion obtained from one or more milkings without either addition thereto or extraction therefrom.”

Further readingEdit



Alternative formsEdit


From Old Norse mjǫlk, from Proto-Germanic *meluks.



milk m

  1. milk