\ 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

On July 5, a Grevy’s zebra was born, followed July 7 by a newborn Arabian oryx. USA TODAY, "Flying goats, chile duel, ’99 Women’s World Cup statue: News from around our 50 states," 12 July 2019 Enjoy three days on safari here, looking for big cats, giraffes, oryx, rare black-faced impalas, and endemic birds like the bare-cheeked babbler. National Geographic, "Namibia High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 But the Arabian oryx held on in private reserves and zoos around the world. National Geographic, "How do we decide which species are endangered or threatened?," 22 Apr. 2019 Herds of zebra and impala and kudu, springbok and steenbok and oryx graze on carpets of desert grasses. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Previous iterations of this procedure relied on anesthesia to keep the oryx manageably calm. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "New Artificial Insemination Technique Successfully Breeds Critically Endangered Scimitar-Horned Oryx," 10 July 2018 Two of the exotics, ibex and oryx, trace back to Frank C. Hibben, an avid hunter and chairman of the New Mexico Game Commission in the late 1940s and ’50s who advocated importing big-game species to bolster the state’s hunting opportunities. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Believe It or Not, You Can Safari in New Mexico," 16 Apr. 2018 Farther east, in the Tularosa Basin and beyond, mask-faced African antelope called oryx range the Chihuahuan Desert. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Believe It or Not, You Can Safari in New Mexico," 16 Apr. 2018 Hoanib Valley Camp The camp sits on the banks of the Obias River, just outside the private Palmwag Concession — a conservancy area — and overlooks the Hoanib River that teems with elephants, giraffes, oryx and springbok. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "A Royal Glamping Honeymoon? See Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Reported Getaway," 10 Apr. 2018

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

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for oryx

The first known use of oryx was in 1535

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More from Merriam-Webster on oryx

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oryx

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