noun, often attributive
\ˈfäks \
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 archaic : sword

4 capitalized : a member of an American Indian people formerly living in what is now Wisconsin

5 : a good-looking young woman or man


foxed; foxing; foxes

Definition of fox (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

1 obsolete : intoxicate

2a : to trick by ingenuity or cunning : outwit

b : baffle foxed by his behavior


biographical name (1)
\ˈfäks \

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 \

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

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Examples of fox in a Sentence


He's a wily old fox. she's a real fox—smart, sassy, and sexy


They foxed me into telling the secret. The problem had us foxed!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Starting with Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection this September 17, Burberry is banning rabbit, fox, mink, and Asiatic raccoon fur, as well as angora. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Burberry’s Future is Fur-Free—And Much More Sustainable," 6 Sep. 2018 Three foxes, five alpacas and an emu died as a result of attacks by the 3-year-old jaguar named Valerio. Kevin Mcgill, The Seattle Times, "Sharp teeth: Jaguar may have bitten through steel cable," 17 July 2018 For wildlife sightings just outside the museum, look out for grey foxes, desert cottontails, and relict leopard frogs. Kim Windyka, Daily Intelligencer, "The 9 Best Offbeat Museums to Visit in Las Vegas," 16 June 2018 That’s the conclusion of a new study, which shows that a variety of previously diurnal animals such as foxes, deer, and boars have become nocturnal to avoid human activity out of fear. Elizabeth Gamillo, Science | AAAS, "Human activity is causing more and more animals to embrace the night," 14 June 2018 Renner's little farm animals - a pig, stork, dog, rabbit, fox, chickens, ducks and others - embark on three adventures in the film. Laura Demarco,, "Cleveland International Film Festival: Who's in Town April 5," 5 Apr. 2018 Mouse, bunny, and fox are obvious enough, while birds form a wild suit that offers flexibility. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Root is a terrific—and fully asymmetric—woodland wargame," 29 Sep. 2018 At this time of year, young foxes can often be seen in the region. Kevin Ebi, National Geographic, "Bald Eagle Steals Dinner From Fox—by Flying Off With Both," 24 May 2018 On June 17, two residents were attacked by a fox that was later killed by a police officer. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "95-year-old Maine man kills rabid fox with broken wooden plank he was carrying," 2 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of fox


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


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fox


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


see fox entry 1

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Statistics for fox

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fox

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

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More Definitions for fox



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)

: to trick or fool (someone)

: to confuse (someone)


\ˈfäks \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on fox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fox

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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