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


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!
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This is an Ears and Tails party, where guests dress up like animals, such as cats, wolves and foxes. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Let the drag races begin: Five female impersonator performances you need in your life," 19 Aug. 2019 Park Wildlife Director Sherry Mims said its abundant wildlife includes deer, bobcats and foxes. al, "Mobile County wants input on Chickasabogue improvements," 17 Aug. 2019 In the summer, the weather hovers around a balmy 50 degrees, and caribou herds, sheep, and wild foxes can be seen. Jae Thomas, Marie Claire, "The Best National Parks for Every Kind of Vacation," 15 Aug. 2019 But still others cling defiantly to their mink trench, their sable shrug, their fox poncho—arguing that fur is warm and gorgeous, and among the most sustainable materials on Earth. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "7 Designers on the Future of Fur in Fashion," 14 Aug. 2019 In Gravity Ghost, players control Iona, a deceased little girl who’s navigating the afterlife looking for the spirit of her fox friend. Matthew Gault, Time, "One of the Best Indie Video Games of 2015 Is Back As a Deluxe Edition," 12 Aug. 2019 The richest man in town is a macho fox farmer with a trophy wife and a long-range rifle who surveys the area in his 4×4, scheming to blast the village into a quarry. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 22 July 2019 The woman from the UK Independence Party, who champions culling badgers and hunting foxes, proudly tells the crowd her father was a farmer. The Economist, "The Brecon by-election is a test for Britain’s next prime minister," 18 July 2019 Border collies excel at herding, Jack Russell terriers at flushing foxes from dens. Jason Bittel, Anchorage Daily News, "As humans shaped dogs’ bodies, we also altered their brains," 3 Sep. 2019

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

Keep scrolling for more

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)

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

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

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).


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!