au·​rochs ˈau̇-ˌräks How to pronounce aurochs (audio)
plural 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 Beyond that, the wet grasslands and meadows at Blick Mead would have been perfect for grazing aurochs, which makes sense given the high number of bones scientists have found belonging to the ancient cattle. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 23 June 2022 Sinding, who has extracted ancient DNA from Pleistocene wolves, woolly rhinoceroses and aurochs, was surprised and excited to hear that Colossal Biosciences planned to re-create the dodo. Christine Kenneally, Scientific American, 31 Jan. 2023 Giant megafauna like elephants and aurochs, the wild ancestors of today’s domestic cows, roamed the land. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 10 Mar. 2022 Extinction aside, the aurochs appears to be thriving. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, 19 June 2017 The only place to see an aurochs in nature these days? Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 12 Feb. 2010 Banning offers another take on the bull scene: Rather than cowering with a rattle, the person may be crouching with a lasso, about to capture an aurochs, the extinct ancestor of domesticated cattle. Bybridget Alex,, 7 Dec. 2022 Some Mesolithic sediment layers at the site still hold the hoofprints of long-extinct aurochs, and more than half the animal bones archaeologists have unearthed there come from that animal. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 4 May 2022 Hundreds more bones attributed to elephants, rhinoceroses, giant deer, horses and bovine aurochs, a now extinct cow-like animal, were also discovered in the cave. Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, 11 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aurochs.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1755, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aurochs was in 1755

Dictionary Entries Near aurochs

Cite this Entry

“Aurochs.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


au·​rochs ˈau̇(ə)r-ˌäks How to pronounce aurochs (audio)
: an extinct large long-horned wild ox of Europe that is the wild ancestor of domestic cattle

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