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1. A typically public place where one goes to find potential sexual partners. Almost always used in a negative way. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Our college's student bar is such a cattle market on the weekends. It seems like everyone I know has hooked up with at least one person there. Everyone knows that the clubs on Leeson Street are just cattle markets for single people.
2. A place or situation in which people are gathered, displayed, and appraised for their looks or abilities, akin to cattle being valued in a market. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. These summer training camps are really just cattle markets for college football recruiters to find the most promising up-and-coming players. The restaurant is an oddity, a cattle market that only hires women for their large busts.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
a cattle marketBRITISH, AMERICAN or
a meat marketAMERICAN, INFORMAL, RUDE
If you describe a situation as a cattle market or a meat market, you mean that people, usually women, are being judged or chosen depending on how sexually attractive they are. The parade of beautiful girls from every nation in the world was rightly dismissed as a cattle market. It's a meat market, like a lot of nightclubs. Note: You use this expression in a disapproving way.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012