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Definition of Mrs O'Leary's cow from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

Mrs O'Leary's cow

 
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the cow that is traditionally blamed for the great Chicago fire in October 1871. Mrs O'Leary lived in the west part of Chicago on De Koven Street. People there claimed that her cow kicked over an oil lamp, though Mrs O'Leary herself denied it. The fire burned for nearly a week, killing 250 people and destroying 7 450 buildings.