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Carabao vs. Cow — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on September 18, 2023
A Carabao is a domesticated water buffalo native to the Philippines, while a Cow is a female of domestic cattle, often raised for milk or meat.
Carabao vs. Cow — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Carabao and Cow

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Key Differences

Carabao and Cow refer to different species within the larger category of domesticated bovine animals. The Carabao, specifically, is a type of water buffalo indigenous to the Philippines and is often used for plowing and as a beast of burden. On the other hand, the Cow, recognized universally, is the female of domestic cattle, primarily utilized for its milk and meat.
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Sep 18, 2023
In terms of physical appearance, the Carabao tends to have a larger and more robust build compared to the typical Cow. This robustness makes the Carabao especially suited for labor-intensive tasks. Meanwhile, the Cow, with its diverse breeds, varies in size, color, and purpose, with some bred for milk production and others for beef.
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Sep 18, 2023
The cultural significance of both the Carabao and Cow cannot be understated. In the Philippines, the Carabao holds symbolic importance, representing hard work and perseverance. In contrast, the Cow has religious and cultural significance in many countries, such as India, where it's considered sacred.
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Sep 18, 2023
Dietary habits of the Carabao and Cow are primarily herbivorous, but there are slight differences. Carabaos, being swamp animals, often graze on aquatic plants in wetlands, while Cows typically graze on grass and might be given supplemental feed depending on their purpose.
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Sep 18, 2023
In the global agricultural scene, while Cows are predominant in many parts of the world for dairy and meat production, the Carabao plays a more localized role, especially in Southeast Asian agriculture.
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Sep 18, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Species

Water buffalo
Domestic cattle
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Origin

Philippines
Global
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Primary Use

Plowing, labor
Milk, meat
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Diet

Aquatic plants, grasses
Grasses, supplemental feed
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Cultural Significance

Symbol of hard work in the Philippines
Religious and cultural significance in many countries
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Sep 18, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Carabao

A beast of burden in the Philippines.
The Carabao carried heavy sacks of grain to the market.
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Cow

A source of beef in many cuisines.
The Cow was raised organically for its meat.
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Carabao

A swamp-adapted bovine.
The Carabao enjoyed wallowing in the muddy waters.
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Cow

An animal raised for milk production.
The dairy farm had over a hundred Cows.
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Carabao

A symbol of hard work in Filipino culture.
The festival honored the Carabao for its contribution to agriculture.
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Cow

A herbivorous ruminant.
The Cow chewed cud while resting under the tree.
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Carabao

A type of domesticated water buffalo.
The farmer used his Carabao to plow the rice fields.
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Cow

The mature female of cattle of the genus Bos.
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Carabao

A source of milk and meat in some Southeast Asian regions.
Carabao milk is used to make a special kind of cheese.
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Cow

The mature female of certain other large animals, such as elephants, moose, or whales.
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Feb 01, 2020

Carabao

The carabao (Spanish: Carabao; Tagalog: kalabaw) is a domestic swamp-type water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) native to the Philippines. Carabaos were introduced to Guam from the Spanish Philippines in the 17th century.
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Feb 01, 2020

Cow

A domesticated bovine of either sex or any age.
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Carabao

See water buffalo.
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Cow

To frighten or subdue with threats or a show of force.
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Carabao

A domesticated subspecies of water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis carabanesis.
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Cow

An adult female of the species Bos taurus, especially one that has calved.
Cow milk is the most common form of milk in Europe.
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Carabao

The water buffalo of the Philippines.
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Cow

(formerly inexact but now common) Any member of the species Bos taurus regardless of sex or age, including bulls and calves.
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Carabao

Water buffalo of the Philippines
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Cow

(uncommon) Beef: the meat of cattle as food.
The only meat I eat is cow.
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Cow

(uncommon) Any bovines or bovids generally, including yaks, buffalo, etc.
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Cow

(biology) A female member of other large species of mammal, including the bovines, moose, whales, seals, hippos, rhinos, manatees, and elephants.
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Cow

A woman considered unpleasant in some way, particularly one considered nasty, stupid, fat, lazy, or difficult.
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Cow

(mining) A chock: a wedge or brake used to stop a machine or car.
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Cow

To intimidate; to daunt the spirits or courage of.
Con artists are not cowed by the law.
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Cow

The mature female of bovine animals.
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Cow

The female of certain large mammals, as whales, seals, etc.
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Cow

A chimney cap; a cowl
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Cow

A wedge, or brake, to check the motion of a machine or car; a chock.
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Cow

To depress with fear; to daunt the spirits or courage of; to overawe.
To vanquish a people already cowed.
THe French king was cowed.
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Cow

Female of domestic cattle:
`moo-cow' is a child's term
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Cow

Mature female of mammals of which the male is called `bull'
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Cow

A large unpleasant woman
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Cow

Subdue, restrain, or overcome by affecting with a feeling of awe; frighten (as with threats)
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Cow

A female of domesticated cattle.
The Cow gave birth to a healthy calf.
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Cow

A term sometimes used colloquially to describe a bothersome person.
She didn't mean to call him a Cow; it was just a slip of the tongue.
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Common Curiosities

What is the primary use of Carabao in the Philippines?

Carabaos are primarily used for plowing and as beasts of burden.
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Can you drink Carabao milk?

Yes, Carabao milk is consumed and used to make products like cheese.
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What do Carabaos eat?

Carabaos primarily eat aquatic plants and grasses.
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Are Cows sacred in every culture?

No, but they are considered sacred in some cultures, like in India.
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Is a Carabao the same as a Cow?

No, a Carabao is a type of water buffalo, while a Cow is female domestic cattle.
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Are all Cows raised for milk?

No, some Cows are raised for beef, while others are raised for milk.
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Why do Carabaos wallow in mud?

Carabaos wallow to cool down, protect against insects, and for skin care.
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Do both Carabaos and Cows have horns?

Yes, generally both can have horns, though the presence and size vary.
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Can a male cattle be called a Cow?

No, male cattle are called bulls.
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Which is larger, a Cow or a Carabao?

Generally, Carabaos are more robust and might be larger than many Cow breeds.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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