mu·ley(myo͞o′lē, mo͝ol′ē, mo͞o′lē)
Having no horns: muley cattle.
n. pl. mu·leys
An animal without horns, especially a cow.
[From Irish Gaelic maol (from Old Irish mael) or from Welsh moel, bald, hornless.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Animals) (of cattle) having no horns
(Animals) any hornless cow
[C16: variant of dialect moiley, from Gaelic maol, Welsh moel bald]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
mul•ey(ˈmyu li, ˈmʊl i)
(of cattle or deer) hornless; polled.
[1565–75; variant of dial. moiley < Irish maol or Welsh moel bald, hornless]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
A dictionary definition is “naturally hornless,” and indeed hornless cows, particularly hornless old milk cows, were sometimes called muleys. However, the term was also applied to other things that appeared to be missing some feature. One example was the muley cultivator, which was a horse-drawn cultivator designed to not have a tongue.
1001 Words and Phrases You Never Knew You Didn’t Know by W.R. Runyan Copyright © 2011 by W.R. Runyan