\ ˈliŋ(k)s How to pronounce lynx (audio) \
plural lynx or lynxes

Definition of lynx

1 : any of several wildcats with relatively long legs, a short stubby tail, mottled coat, and usually tufted ears that are thought to comprise a distinct genus (Lynx) of the cat family or to be part of a genus (Felis) that includes the domestic cat and cougar: such as
a : a lynx (L. lynx) of northern Europe and Asia
b : bobcat
c : a North American lynx (L. canadensis) distinguished from the bobcat by its larger size, longer tufted ears, and wholly black tail tip

called also Canadian lynx

2 Lynx, astronomy : a dim northern constellation that is visible between the constellations of Ursa Major and Gemini and that is represented by the figure of a lynx … Johannes Hevelius named this new constellation Lynx because only an observer with "the eyes of a lynx" could see its faint shape.— Richard Berry

Illustration of lynx

Illustration of lynx

Examples of lynx in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cipriano smacked his snow shovel to the ground in front of the lynx. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, "A lynx, a toddler and a bizarre encounter in an Anchorage Hillside driveway," 3 Apr. 2021 Beneath a canopy of old-growth trees, an array of animals — wolves, European brown bears, boar, eagles, lynx — were thriving. New York Times, "The Making of a ‘European Yellowstone’," 15 Mar. 2021 The lynx population is so low in Minnesota that every animal incidentally taken is a major loss, Adkins said. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "Lawsuit: Minnesota DNR isn't doing enough to protect endangered lynx from trapping," 17 Dec. 2020 Specialty predators such as lynx will move, but some won’t make it. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska’s hard-core predators don’t have it as easy as you may think," 20 Dec. 2020 At least 16 lynx have been trapped in Minnesota since 2008, according to the center. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "Lawsuit: Minnesota DNR isn't doing enough to protect endangered lynx from trapping," 17 Dec. 2020 The kittens bring the peninsula’s overall lynx population to 855, marking a 900% increase since the first census in 2002. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Lynxes make a comeback, and more," 13 Nov. 2020 This tactic has helped to conserve the Canada lynx, killer whales, manatees and jaguars in the past, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Trump administration plans to remove endangered gray wolf protections by end of year," 2 Sep. 2020 Look for bears, wolves and lynx in Croatia; wildcats in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula; otters in Hampshire, England; and both black and white rhinos in the Lewa-Borana landscape in Kenya. Rachael Lallensack, Smithsonian Magazine, "Seventy-Five Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute to Online," 15 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lynx.' 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 lynx

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lynx

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek; akin to Old English lox lynx and probably to Greek leukos white — more at light

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lynx

Time Traveler for lynx

Time Traveler

The first known use of lynx was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lynx

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lynx.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lynx



English Language Learners Definition of lynx

: a large wild cat of North America


\ ˈliŋks How to pronounce lynx (audio) \
plural lynx or lynxes

Kids Definition of lynx

: any of several wildcats with rather long legs, a short tail, and often ears with tufts of long hairs at the tip

More from Merriam-Webster on lynx

Nglish: Translation of lynx for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lynx

Comments on lynx

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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