noun, often attributive
\ ˈfäks How to pronounce fox (audio) \
plural foxes also fox

Definition of fox

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a : any of various carnivorous (see carnivorous sense 1) mammals (especially genus Vulpes) of the dog family related to but smaller than wolves with shorter legs, more pointed muzzle, large erect ears, and long bushy tail
b : the fur of a fox
2 : a clever crafty person He's a sly old fox.
3 : a good-looking young woman or man
4 capitalized : a member of an American Indian people formerly living in what is now Wisconsin
5 archaic : sword


foxed; foxing; foxes

Definition of fox (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to trick by ingenuity or cunning : outwit
b : baffle foxed by his behavior
2 obsolete : intoxicate


biographical name (1)
\ ˈfäks How to pronounce Fox (audio) \

Definition of Fox (Entry 3 of 5)

Charles James 1749–1806 English statesman and orator


biographical name (2)

Definition of Fox (Entry 4 of 5)

George 1624–1691 English preacher and founder of Society of Friends


geographical name
\ ˈfäks How to pronounce Fox (audio) \

Definition of Fox (Entry 5 of 5)

1 river 220 miles (354 kilometers) long in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois flowing south into the Illinois River
2 river 175 miles (282 kilometers) long in eastern Wisconsin flowing northeast and north through Lake Winnebago into Green Bay

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of fox in a Sentence

Noun He's a wily old fox. she's a real fox—smart, sassy, and sexy Verb They foxed me into telling the secret. The problem had us foxed!
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Laiprasert pressed pause on the wolf and the fox, along with everything else. Carly Stern,, "Bay Area tattoo shops hope clients will have skin in the game when they reopen," 30 June 2020 This linen cooler bag features a striking fox print with matching orange accents, and also comes in other animal designs for the hungry omnivore or herbivore. Popular Science, "Four lunch bags that will inspire you to take a proper midday break," 3 June 2020 Commuter traffic is gingerly returning to streets where, not long ago, curious ducks, foxes and wild boars wandered while the humans were hiding. ... Marcus Walker, WSJ, "‘This Is a Science-Fiction Screenplay’: Europeans Re-Emerge to a New Normal," 19 May 2020 Visitors can stay in their car and drive around to see the animals, including wood bison, caribou, coyote, wolf, fox and even a couple of porcupines. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Travel restrictions mean more deals for Alaskans from local tourism businesses," 9 May 2020 Animals — including raccoon dogs, foxes, and mink — are common sights at these markets, and all are potential intermediate hosts for the virus that causes COVID-19. Pj Smith,, "Ending The Fur Trade Could Help Prevent Future Pandemics," 7 May 2020 In the meantime, spring is peeking through, and the two older ones are busy naming the bugs, the fox, and the woodpecker that can be seen through our windows. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Coronavirus and the Kids," 17 Apr. 2020 The young hatch between August and September, and are vulnerable to land predators, including foxes and raccoons. National Geographic, "Diamondback terrapin," 26 Mar. 2020 There are recent cases of wolves attacking people – as there are cases of foxes and raccoons doing the same. Ben Long, Outdoor Life, "Finding a Middle Ground on Wolves and Wolf Management," 6 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Raccoon: Raccoon is very similar to fox but rarely comes in any other colors besides that of a typical raccoon which is naturally ombré. Liana Satenstein, Marie Claire, "Fur Lovers Who Don't Want to Buy New, Rejoice!," 13 Feb. 2014 Raines has a USDA license to exhibit and sell foxes, but does the latter only to fox sanctuaries, or people who have track records owning foxes, preferably with a license similar to hers. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "She rescues foxes, but Lakeville says she has 2 too many," 3 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of fox


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for fox

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fuhs fox and perhaps to Sanskrit puccha tail

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fox

Time Traveler for fox

Time Traveler

The first known use of fox was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for fox

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fox


How to pronounce Fox (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fox

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small wild animal that is related to dogs and that has a long pointed nose and a bushy tail
: the fur of a fox
: a clever person



English Language Learners Definition of fox (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British
: to trick or fool (someone)
: to confuse (someone)


\ ˈfäks How to pronounce fox (audio) \

Kids Definition of fox

1 : a wild animal closely related to the wolf that has a sharp snout, pointed ears, and a long bushy tail
2 capitalized : a member of an American Indian people formerly living in what is now Wisconsin

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on fox

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fox

Spanish Central: Translation of fox

Nglish: Translation of fox for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fox for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fox

Comments on fox

What made you want to look up fox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!