\ 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

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 Giant ancestors of elephants, zebra and baboon-like apes disappeared, to be replaced by more modern-looking grazers such as antelope and oryx. NBC News, "Did climate change help modern humans emerge?," 15 Mar. 2018 There were white elk and eland, impala and Arabian oryx. Manny Fernandez, New York Times, "Blood and Beauty on a Texas Exotic-Game Ranch," 19 Oct. 2017 The company has even created a wildlife sanctuary on the land, with desert gazelle, ostrich, and oryx. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Inside Saudi Aramco's Kingdom of Oil," 24 Oct. 2017

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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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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