\ 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 In this understanding, the lion represents Mark, the ox represents Luke, the eagle represents John, and the man represents Matthew. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, "How to Make a Hippogriff Fly and Other Flights of Fancy," 17 Mar. 2021 Back in 1813, the town was first laid out in a grid pattern filled with free parking areas called ox lots, where schooners came down the Bogue Falaya River to trade goods from Covington to New Orleans. Southern Living, "Experience the Charm of Covington, Louisiana," 8 Mar. 2021 The holiday officially ushers in the year of the ox starting Friday (Feb. 12), and artists from Taylor Swift to Rina Sawayama are wishing fans a safe celebration. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Taylor Swift, Rina Sawayama, Mxmtoom & More Celebrate Chinese New Year," 12 Feb. 2021 This year, 2021, ushers in the Year of the Ox, and Chinese astrologers believe 2021 will be a stable year as the ox is dependable and diligent. Frances Lee, Woman's Day, "Everything to Know About Lunar New Year's Traditions," 12 Feb. 2021 In line with China’s ambition of keeping covid-19 infections as close to zero as possible, national health authorities have asked the public to avoid non-essential travel to see in the year of the ox. The Economist, "Chaguan Because of covid, many in China will miss their biggest holiday," 6 Feb. 2021 Other chefs are preparing more modern dishes and desserts, like sesame chocolate in the shape of an ox, the coming year’s Chinese zodiac. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, "Where to order Lunar New Year specials at Bay Area restaurants, including dumplings and poon choi," 1 Feb. 2021 That right-hand rule applied to pedestrians moseying on the right side of the road, Conestoga wagons heading west, ox-teams loaded with wares, and strangers riding into town on horseback. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Why Americans and Brits Drive on Opposite Sides of the Road," 2 Dec. 2020 One hot Burmese day, U Than Win pushed a finished ox cart out of his yard near the Irrawaddy. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "A master ox cart maker keeps his ancient craft rolling in a motorized world," 2 Oct. 2020

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 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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Statistics for ox

Last Updated

20 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ox. Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for ox



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

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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