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

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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 There was some thought before the start of the season that Gardner Minshew had the ability to spark the Jaguars this season with his playmaking ability and moxie. Dan Wiederer,, "Week 16 predictions: Can the Chicago Bears keep their playoff hopes alive with a win against the Jacksonville Jaguars?," 25 Dec. 2020 Spurs forward Rudy Gay echoed Popovich’s comments about Vassell showing some moxie right off the bat. Tom Orsborn,, "Spurs fall, but rookie Devin Vassell shines in debut," 12 Dec. 2020 Zardes, who figures to be in the USMNT mix next year, rediscovered his goal-scoring moxie after a move from the Galaxy to Columbus in 2018, posting double-digit goal totals in each of his three seasons with the Crew. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "MLS Cup storylines: Are Seattle Sounders a dynasty in the making? Can Columbus Crew be defeated at home?," 11 Dec. 2020 She’ll always be remembered for her work in making the 1995 Times style and usage guide more equitable, her moxie in standing up to big egos, and her devotion as a mother. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: California’s vaccine plan," 10 Dec. 2020 On the positive side, Nolan showed plenty of athleticism and moxie, repeatedly evading Utah pressure to scramble for positive yards or throw the ball away. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Chance Nolan gives Oregon State Beavers ‘a chance to win’ in first start, but it’s too little, too late in loss to Utah Utes," 7 Dec. 2020 Other cultural hubs around the country have stepped up, of course, but Dallas has shown particular moxie — perhaps because theaters there struggle for recognition even at the best of times. New York Times, "What’s Playing in Dallas? With Streaming, I Could Find Out," 2 Dec. 2020 Perhaps the main takeaway from all of this is that the coronavirus has, if anything, magnified the company’s moxie. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, "Review: At L.A. and Long Beach operas, the pandemic gives young talent a spotlight," 16 Nov. 2020 Then and again now at CVS, the board clearly recognized that Lynch harbored a rare combination of data-crunching analytical skills and marketing moxie for winning customers. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Meet the new highest-ranking female CEO in the Fortune 500," 7 Nov. 2020

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.

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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

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The first known use of moxie was in 1930

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Moxie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for moxie


How to pronounce moxie (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moxie

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

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