mox·​ie ˈmäk-sē How to pronounce moxie (audio)
: energy, pep
woke up full of moxie
: courage, determination
it takes … moxie to pull up roots and go to a land where the culture and probably the language are totally foreignM. J. McClary
: know-how
was impressed with his musical moxie and hired him as a solo

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If the idea of a carbonated bevvy flavored with gentian root makes you thirsty to wet your whistle, then you’ve got some moxie, friend! Lowercase moxie—which today is a synonym of both nerve and verve—originated as uppercase Moxie, as in Moxie Nerve Food, a patent medicine and tonic invented by Dr. Augustin Thompson and sold in New England in the 1870s. Within a decade, when it was clear his drink wasn’t really medicinal, he carbonated Moxie and marketed it as a kind of 19th-century energy drink with a “delicious blend of the bitter and the sweet.” The soft drink and its advertising slogans (among them Make Mine Moxie!) eventually caught on around the country. The beverage was even a favorite of Charlotte’s Web author E. B. White, who wrote, “Moxie contains gentian root, which is the path to the good life.” The semantic jump from “a drink that gives you energy” to “energy” itself is as natural as a good advertising campaign. By 1930, moxie had acquired its earliest modern sense referring to vim and pep.

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 Maurice first saw the true glimpse of Lundell’s moxie during the Panthers’ second-round series last postseason against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald, 18 May 2024 That kind of the veteran kind of veteran moxie on the mound, nothing really fazes him. Matt Weyrich, Baltimore Sun, 6 Mar. 2024 Warren Beatty’s vision of a comic strip on film comes in paint box-bright colors with nicely irreverent dialogue, a gaggle of crisp performances and one with million-dollar moxie. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2024 Later, the two caught up with a notable Fijian pro surfer who had nothing but respect for the octogenarian’s moxie. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 14 Jan. 2024 See all Example Sentences for moxie 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moxie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from Moxie, a trademark for a soft drink

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of moxie was in 1930


Dictionary Entries Near moxie

Cite this Entry

“Moxie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

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