\ ˈpäks How to pronounce pox (audio) \
plural pox or poxes

Definition of pox

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a virus disease (such as chicken pox) characterized by pustules or eruptions
b archaic : smallpox
2 : a disastrous evil : plague, curse a pox on him


poxed; poxing; poxes

Definition of pox (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to infect with a pox and especially with syphilis

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Other Words from pox


poxy \ ˈpäk-​sē How to pronounce poxy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Their trees embrace myriad molds, viruses, and fungi: apple scab, black pox, southern blight, union necrosis. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, "How Apples Go Bad," 8 June 2020 But rather than the sheets of black pustules that develop in a lethal case, X’s patient would grow only a smattering of smaller and lighter-colored pox. Cody Cassidy, Wired, "Who Discovered the First Vaccine?," 8 June 2020 The coronavirus has been a pox upon nearly the entire entertainment industry. NBC News, "Wisconsin's World Dairy Expo canceled due to COVID-19," 5 June 2020 Meanwhile, a group comprised of major drugmakers, insurance companies and private hospitals, is saying a pox on both your houses. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Bloomberg put on defensive during combative two-hour Democratic debate," 20 Feb. 2020 But in 2016, researchers examining another case of ancient small pox, found in a sixteenth-century Lithuanian mummy, decided to reexamine the Maggiore mummy with the hopes of studying how the disease evolved over time, St. Fleur reports. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "16th-Century Child Mummy Had Oldest Known Case of Hepatitis B," 8 Jan. 2018 Hey, Comcast and Kroenke Sports: A pox on both your mansions for leaving hardworking, sports-loving fans caught in the crossfire of your mudslinging. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Consider yourself lucky if you couldn’t watch telecast of Nikola Jokic and Nuggets coming up small in loss to Lakers," 3 Dec. 2019 There are outbreaks of monkey pox and measles, partly because of plummeting vaccination rates. The Economist, "English-speaking villages are burning in Cameroon," 7 Nov. 2019 This much is true: Regional leaders who once banded together to try to bring Maduro down are now suffering a pox on their own houses, even as socialist Venezuela’s regional allies are suddenly ascendant. Washington Post, "Mastermind or scapegoat? Besieged South American leaders blame Venezuela’s Maduro for historic wave of unrest," 31 Oct. 2019

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


circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pox


alteration of pocks, plural of pock

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Time Traveler for pox

Time Traveler

The first known use of pox was circa 1530

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Statistics for pox

Last Updated

18 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pox. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for pox


How to pronounce pox (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pox

: a disease that causes a rash on the skin
old-fashioned + humorous used to say that you hope something bad will happen to someone or something


\ ˈpäks How to pronounce pox (audio) \
plural pox or poxes

Medical Definition of pox

1 : a virus disease (as chicken pox) characterized by pustules or eruptions
2 archaic : smallpox

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More from Merriam-Webster on pox

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pox

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pox

Spanish Central: Translation of pox

Nglish: Translation of pox for Spanish Speakers

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