mox·​ie | \ ˈmäk-sē How to pronounce moxie (audio) \

Definition of moxie

1 : energy, pep woke up full of moxie
2 : courage, determination it takes … moxie to pull up roots and go to a land where the culture and probably the language are totally foreign— M. J. McClary
3 : know-how was impressed with his musical moxie and hired him as a solo

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for moxie


chops, experience, expertise, know-how, proficiency, savvy, skills



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Did You Know?

Hot roasted peanuts! Fresh popcorn! Ice-cold Moxie! You might have heard such a snack vendor's cry at a baseball game-if you attended it in 1924. That was the heyday of the soft drink named Moxie, which some claim outsold Coca-Cola at the height of its popularity. The beverage was a favorite of American writer E. B. White, who wrote, "Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life. This was known in the second century before Christ and is a boon to me today." By 1930, moxie had become a slang term for nerve and verve, perhaps because some people thought the drink was a tonic that could cure virtually any ill and bring vim back to even the most lethargic individual.

Examples of moxie in a Sentence

He showed a lot of moxie in questioning the policy. it was old-fashioned military moxie that got medical supplies to the disaster site in record time

Recent Examples on the Web

And, for the first time since McCoy, Texas has a quarterback in Sam Ehlinger with the moxie and toughness to win big games. Los Angeles Times, "College football 2019: Are the Texas Longhorns really back?," 2 Aug. 2019 In a few short years, Little Village Foundation has demonstrated that an indie label, a small budget, big ears and a truckload of creative moxie can move mountains. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Little Village label brings super-charged lineup to Berkeley show," 13 Aug. 2019 They were lightly recruited out of high school, settled for scholarships at unheralded colleges and blossomed into NBA lottery picks through hard work and moxie, beating long odds to grow into stars. Joe Freeman,, "In era of NBA player empowerment, CJ McCollum bucks trend, stays loyal to Portland Trail Blazers," 31 July 2019 City of Girls is the perfect mix of razzle dazzle and moxie that your summer reading needs. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Elizabeth Gilbert's 'City of Girls' Lives Up to the Hype," 1 Aug. 2019 Part of the appeal of Veronica's character was always her indomitable courage and moxie in the face of horrible circumstances. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "No marshmallows here: Veronica Mars season 4 pulls no punches," 31 July 2019 There’s Imperial, gritty Imperial County itself, millions of Mexican descent, small-town dreamers with more moxie than money. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Boxing champ Andy Ruiz Jr. rewrites script for Imperial, himself," 21 June 2019 The spine Rizzo showed in standing up for his team that day signaled a change coming from the Cubs — much the same way Anderson’s moxie against the Royals indicated the metamorphosis so many expect. David Haugh,, "Column: Rick Renteria earns the right to lead White Sox to the next level — a chance he didn’t get with the Cubs," 17 June 2019 Kera O’Bryon’s vocal power and acting parallel the moxie of her character, Donna., "Mamma Mia! energy captivates Regina Hall: Sun Messages," 16 June 2019

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

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for moxie

from Moxie, a trademark for a soft drink

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about moxie

Listen to Our Podcast about moxie

Dictionary Entries near moxie

mow the lawn





Mo Yan


Statistics for moxie

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for moxie

The first known use of moxie was in 1930

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for moxie



English Language Learners Definition of moxie

US, informal + old-fashioned
: the ability to be active
: courage or determination

More from Merriam-Webster on moxie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with moxie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for moxie

Comments on moxie

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


to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!