musk ox


: a heavyset, shaggy-coated, bovid mammal (Ovibos moschatus) of tundra regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska with the males producing a strong musky odor from glands beneath the eyes

Illustration of musk ox

Illustration of musk ox

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Yet the musk ox amazingly still exists in today’s Arctic world. Jan Brett, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2023 On a beautiful high plateau, another similar-size family of musk ox appeared. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 17 Jan. 2023 The 36-year-old died Tuesday after a rare attack by a musk ox in Nome, where Worland worked for the Department of Public Safety for 13 years. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Dec. 2022 Officials cannot yet say what will happen to the musk ox involved in the incident. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Dec. 2022 Reindeer, musk ox, and other creatures of cold areas have evolved similar means to survive in Arctic habitat. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 3 May 2010 An employee of Alaska’s Department of Public Safety was killed Tuesday on his property in Nome during an encounter with a musk ox. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 14 Dec. 2022 The National Park Service advises people to stay at least 150 feet away from a musk ox. Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2022 The Nome Nugget reported the attack marks the first time that a person was killed by a musk ox in the city. CBS News, 14 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1744, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of musk ox was in 1744

Dictionary Entries Near musk ox

Cite this Entry

“Musk ox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

musk ox

: a large shaggy-coated wild ox native to Greenland, Canada and Alaska with the males producing a strong odor similar to musk from glands below the eyes
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