Difference Between a Ram and a Sheep. At first glance, a ram and a sheep may seem different only in terms of gender, with one being male and the other female. However, if we delve deeper into the matter, we can draw more detailed distinctions.


A ram is a common even-toed ungulate. It belongs to the Bovidae family, just like cattle, bison, and some other members.

A sheep is a domesticated animal and belongs to the genus of rams.


If we base our classification on biological terms, the difference between a ram and a sheep lies in the following: the first term denotes an entire biological genus, while the second refers to one of the species within that genus.

It is presumed that the ancestor of the sheep living alongside humans is the mouflon. This domesticated animal serves as a source of food products and is renowned for its wool, which only this species has the tendency to curl. Additionally, sheep are the only ones in their genus to have an elongated tail and a white coat. Wild rams, on the other hand, do not possess these characteristics. Rams have broader eye sockets and larger brains.

In the strictest sense, a sheep refers to the female of a domesticated animal. These females provide milk and give birth to offspring. Most often, they do not have horns or have small ones. Males referred to as rams are significantly larger and often boast majestic horns. Only male individuals engage in combat with each other during the mating season, while female sheep do not exhibit such behavior. Naturally, the two genders differ in their reproductive organs.

Summarizing the differences between a ram and a sheep: both terms can be used broadly and narrowly. Rams, on one hand, refer to a vast genus that encompasses species like mouflons, argalis, bighorns, and others. On the other hand, rams refer to male animals raised by humans. In a broad sense, a sheep is a species of the genus of rams. In the strictest sense, a sheep is the female of a domesticated animal.

It’s worth noting that in literature and common language, these animals symbolize entirely different qualities. Rams are associated with persistence, determination, strength, and sometimes stubbornness or the inability to adapt to changing situations. Sheep, on the other hand, are linked to meekness, good-naturedness, as well as timidity and unquestioning following of someone or something.