\ˈäks \
plural oxen\ ˈäk-​sən \ also ox

Definition of ox 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a domestic bovine mammal (Bos taurus) broadly : a bovine mammal a team of oxen

2 : an adult castrated male domestic ox

variants: or oxo-

Definition of ox- (Entry 2 of 2)

: oxygen oxacillin

Examples of ox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Image Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States who found a universe of meaning in the apples, ox carts and ordinary folk of his beloved rural New England, died on Saturday at his home in Wilmot, N.H. David Kirby, New York Times, "Donald Hall, a Poet Laureate of the Rural Life, Is Dead at 89," 24 June 2018 Jeremiah, for example, wore an ox yoke around his neck to symbolize Israel’s impending oppression under the Babylonian Empire. Rachel Held Evans, Washington Post, "The Bible is literature for the resistance," 12 July 2018 This time, Blake arrived at the mansion riding an ox, which was meant to signify the strength of his feelings (seriously). Nick Schwartz, For The Win, "Bachelorette Power Rankings: Did Becca eliminate the wrong guys in Week 1?," 29 May 2018 That says a lot for director Greg Shilling's steering, and the skill sets of his actors, some of whom play talking bison, a British lobster and a murderous ox. Lee Williams, OregonLive.com, "'Trail to Oregon' gleefully rejects historical accuracy (review)," 23 Apr. 2018 Farmers ride ox carts along the Yangon to Naypyidaw highway in Myanmar on March 14, 2016. Eli Meixler / Singapore, Time, "‘If I Give You Choice, I'm Showing Respect': How This Man Uses Design to Help the World’s Poorest Farmers," 2 Apr. 2018 Next come the fried ox testicles, followed by the pours and pours of homemade grappa. Eliot Stein, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Pagan Exorcism in Sardinia," 29 Mar. 2018 Many of the antiques in the home came from Nora, who acquired pieces from around Europe, including the Cecilian ox cart chandeliers and 16th-century furnishings. Taylor M. Riley, The Courier-Journal, "With an ornate library and lavish gardens, this Kentucky estate is the essence of opulence," 8 Mar. 2018 Few other Chinese zodiac animals — certainly not the snake, rooster, ox or rat — are cuddlier than the dog. Janet Kinosian, latimes.com, "It's the Year of the Dog. Here are must-have items for every top dog and underdog in your life," 15 Feb. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ox


Middle English, from Old English oxa; akin to Old High German ohso ox, Sanskrit ukṣā bull, and perhaps to Sanskrit ukṣati he moistens, Greek hygros wet — more at humor

Combining form

French, from oxygène

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Statistics for ox

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for ox

The first known use of ox was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of ox

: a bull that has had its sex organs removed

: a cow or bull


\ˈäks \
plural oxen\ ˈäk-​sən \ also ox

Kids Definition of ox

1 : a male or female of common domestic cattle or a closely related animal (as a yak)

2 : an adult castrated male ox used especially for hauling loads

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Comments on ox

What made you want to look up ox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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