\ ˈȯr-iks How to pronounce oryx (audio) , ˈär- \
plural oryx or oryxes

Definition of oryx

: 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 From inside my tent — a vintage-safari fantasia with a four-poster bed, a claw-foot tub, and pith helmets — the desert enfolded me in a vast, silent emptiness, with herds of oryx wandering the land and velvety pastels washing the sky at sunset. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, "It List 2020: Our Editors’ Picks of the Best New Hotels in the World," 19 Feb. 2020 There are species like dama gazelles, Grévy’s zebra, addax, scimitar oryx. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas breeder of exotic animals says they're 'no different than owning a Ferrari'," 31 Mar. 2021 But by the early 1970s, the Arabian oryx was hunted to extinction in the wild. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "How captivity saved these animals from extinction," 17 Sep. 2020 As the breeding program expanded, in the early 1980s Arabian oryx were reintroduced into the deserts of central Oman. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "How captivity saved these animals from extinction," 17 Sep. 2020 Starting out with just nine oryx captured from the wild, Phoenix Zoo, in the US, led a successful captive-breeding program. Isabelle Gerretsen, CNN, "How captivity saved these animals from extinction," 17 Sep. 2020 Scholars believe this antelope, or its closely related cousin, the Arabian oryx, may have been the source of the unicorn myth. Mélanie Wenger, National Geographic, "A behind-the-scenes look at Texas’ exotic animal ranches," 7 July 2020 The same rifles hired for elk, moose, and mule deer in the U.S. are proving just as effective for kudu, oryx, and even buffalo in Africa. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "The Most Iconic Rifles and Cartridges from African Safaris," 11 June 2020 The second is by Norma, a 156-grain Oryx bullet at 2,500 fps, which is just the ticket for an oryx or any other large beast. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "The 6.5 Creedmoor Vs. the 6.5x55 Swedish," 26 May 2020

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

1535, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oryx

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

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Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Oryx.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oryx. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oryx

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