au·​rochs | \ ˈau̇-ˌräks How to pronounce aurochs (audio) , ˈȯr-ˌäks \
plural aurochs

Definition of aurochs

: an extinct large long-horned wild ox (Bos primigenius) of Europe that is the ancestor of domestic cattle

Examples of aurochs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Researchers have uncovered thousands of bone fragments at the site, including remains from horses, extinct wild oxen known as aurochs, and donkey relatives called onagers. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Oldest carving in East Asia found. But its maker is a mystery.," 24 July 2019 For millennia the aurochs had turned grass into meat for us hunters. Bob Gathany,, "Up in the air at the Huntsville Community Kite Festival," 4 Mar. 2018 Those bovine descendants of the aurochs helped us invent civilization. Bob Gathany,, "Up in the air at the Huntsville Community Kite Festival," 4 Mar. 2018 The aurochs that humans once painted on caves, for example, and later domesticated into modern cattle, is long since extinct—but feral cattle run wild from Hawaii to Hong Kong. Bill Hatcher, National Geographic, "These Giant Invasive Beasts May Actually Be Good for the Planet," 6 Oct. 2017 Extinction aside, the aurochs appears to be thriving. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Return of the Aurochs," 6 Feb. 2017 Horses, aurochs (ancient bison), woolly mammoths and rhinoceroses were also around. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "In the Caves of Ancient Humans, Stories Told Dot by Dot," 7 Mar. 2017 Goderie now has about 500 animals at various stages of becoming modern-day aurochs. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "Return of the Aurochs," 6 Feb. 2017 The aurochs, like the one found on the limestone slab, is a common theme in Aurignacian art, including at Chauvet Cave, which contains the oldest known figurative art in the world. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Dig This: Researchers Found a 38,000-Year-Old Engraving in France," 31 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aurochs.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of aurochs

1755, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aurochs

German, from Old High German ūrohso, from ūro aurochs + ohso ox; akin to Old English ūr aurochs — more at ox

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The first known use of aurochs was in 1755

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Cite this Entry

“Aurochs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on aurochs

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with aurochs Encyclopedia article about aurochs

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