\ ˈäks How to pronounce ox (audio) \
plural oxen\ ˈäk-​sən How to pronounce oxen (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

Next to the optical heart-rate monitor that lives on the underside of the device is a pulse-ox sensor that measures blood-oxygen levels. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 combines pulse-ox and a week of battery life for $129," 30 Aug. 2018 Deuteronomy 25:4 prohibits the muzzling of an ox that is threshing. Karen Swallow Prior, Washington Post, "Fallen NFL star Michael Vick speaks at Liberty University about dog fighting and his faith," 29 Jan. 2018 Of course, the ox that’s being gored here is the unsecured creditors—the alleged harassment victims, the trade creditors—$23 million will come entirely out of their recoveries in the case. Jonathan Randles, WSJ, "Weinstein Co. Cuts Deal Price by $23 Million to Close Sale to Lantern," 22 June 2018 Further Reading Garmin’s Vivosmart 4 combines pulse-ox and a week of battery life for $129 Female health tracking Earlier this year, Fitbit's menstrual cycle tracking became available to all through the Fitbit mobile app. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Fitbit Charge 3 review: Peppering a fitness tracker with smartwatch powers," 12 Oct. 2018 The quick-change comic hopscotched through a half-dozen supporting roles, constantly contorting her tall frame to evoke villainous McDoon or that bloodthirsty ox. Lee Williams, OregonLive.com, "'Trail to Oregon' gleefully rejects historical accuracy (review)," 23 Apr. 2018 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

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

22 Jun 2019

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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 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ox

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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