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

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!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just weeks after they were introduced, the tax proposals targeting dynastic wealth were gone, as dead as a fox eviscerated by hounds. Patricia Callahan, ProPublica, 15 Dec. 2021 Pasi Widgren drew a fox that measures about 295 feet on Lake Pitkajarvi using a shovel. NBC News, 14 Dec. 2021 Within Split Oak, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises, sandhill cranes, Sherman’s fox squirrels, owls and other birds of prey may be spotted. Patrick Connolly,, 26 Nov. 2021 That handoff triggered suspicion that a fox was watching the hens. Kevin Spear,, 3 Dec. 2021 In one shot, taken in the courtyard of his studio, the actor sits powerful and poised holding a beautiful fox. Fiona Sinclair Scott, CNN, 11 Nov. 2021 If sea ice conditions are unpredictable or melt earlier than usual, a fox’s access to food, water, and ability to reproduce is limited. Devi Lockwood, Wired, 21 Sep. 2021 That's what appears to me to be in store, but I'm not addled like a fox. John Brummett, Arkansas Online, 5 Oct. 2021 Last month, a similar scene took center stage during the Red River Rivalry when a fox found his way out onto the field during the Texas-Oklahoma game. Mark Heim |, al, 7 Nov. 2021 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, 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, 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 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

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Time Traveler for fox

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near fox

fowl spirochetosis



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Statistics for fox

Last Updated

27 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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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 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 a tribe of indigenous people formerly living in what is now Wisconsin

More from Merriam-Webster on fox

Nglish: Translation of fox for Spanish Speakers

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


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