\ ˈäks How to pronounce ox (audio) \
plural oxen\ ˈäk-​sən How to pronounce ox (audio) \ 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 His ox, Babe, weighed 5 tons and had the strength of nine horses. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Feb. 2022 Sia Xiong and Johnni Sihavong named their new business AN OX Café after their birth year: the Chinese zodiac year of the ox. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Feb. 2022 Through serious discussion of the implications of the ox-goring laws, perhaps precious lives can be saved. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, 24 Jan. 2022 Rapu had sometimes felt like a piece of property, particularly when his parents loaned him to the neighbors in exchange for an ox. Longreads, 19 Jan. 2022 After a succession of decidedly unglamorous animals -- the pig, the rat and, last year, the ox -- the rotating zodiac has finally landed on a more familiar muse. CNN, 18 Jan. 2022 According to the 1820 census, Shriver made his leather products from ox and cow hides, some horse hides, as well as sheep and calf skins. Samuel M. Riley, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 29 Jan. 2022 The animals came through the finish line in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Jean Chen Smith, The Enquirer, 27 Jan. 2022 The overconfident tiger was sure to arrive first but arrived third after the rat and the ox. Marilisa Barbieri, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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 entry 1

Combining form

French, from oxygène

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Time Traveler for ox

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Ox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ox. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ox


\ ˈäks How to pronounce ox (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on ox

Nglish: Translation of ox for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ox for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ox


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