oryx

noun

ˈȯr-iks How to pronounce oryx (audio)
ˈär-
plural oryx or oryxes
: any of a small genus (Oryx) of large heavily built African and Arabian antelopes that have a light-colored coat with dark conspicuous markings especially on the face compare gemsbok

Illustration of oryx

Illustration of oryx

Examples of oryx in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The oryx went extinct in the wild during the 1990s. Gabe Allen, Discover Magazine, 30 Dec. 2023 Those species include our own California condor, our black-footed ferret, and our Guam rail, as well as the Arabian oryx, the Przewalski’s horse, and the Père David’s deer. Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Still, Reed says there’s an effort to reintroduce the dama gazelle to Chad as part of a larger plan that also involves the oryx and addax, also part of the antelope family. Lee Powell, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 Then there's the desert with its rolling hills of sand stamped with the footprints of Arabian oryx and gazelles; the souks with their labyrinth of stalls, bins overflowing with a rainbow of spices; and the traditional abra boats ferrying riders across the Dubai Creek. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 2 Oct. 2023 The Arabian oryx, the California condor, and the Przewalski’s horse have already been reintroduced to the wild, and the Guam rail is on its way. Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 The collection includes the scimitar oryx, also called the North African oryx, which the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declared extinct in the wild, the endangered Bengal tiger and the critically endangered addax, also known as the white antelope. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2022 The Arabian oryx, a desert antelope in South Yemen, was nearly decimated by hunters until a breeding program to capture the last remaining wild oryx was established. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2022 Then there's the desert with its rolling hills of sand stamped with the footprints of Arabian oryx and gazelles; the souks with their labyrinth of stalls, bins overflowing with a rainbow of spices, the scent filling the air; and the traditional abra boats ferrying riders across the Dubai Creek. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 6 Aug. 2021

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, a gazelle, from Greek, pickax, antelope, kind of whale, from oryssein to dig; akin to Latin runcare to grub up, weed, Sanskrit luñcati he plucks

First Known Use

1535, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oryx was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near oryx

Cite this Entry

“Oryx.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oryx. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

oryx

noun
ˈōr-iks How to pronounce oryx (audio)
ˈȯr-,
ˈär-
plural oryx or oryxes
: any of several African antelopes having long horns that are straight or that curve backward

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