\ 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
c : syphilis
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 pox (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pox in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Chicago did execute three sacrifice bunts, an ode to old-school manager Tony LaRussa and a pox to new-age analytics. Mike Bass, The Enquirer, 3 June 2021 Clusters of these post-vaccination infections compelled public-health officials to alter the dosing schedules for measles and chicken-pox vaccines, for example. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 27 May 2021 Veterinary pathologists examining a camelpox outbreak among male dromedaries in India noted pendulous lips and scrotal pox. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, 27 Apr. 2021 Resolved that the Board will hold teachers responsible to the extent of a forfeiture of their certificate in the event that any pupil who has not been vaccinated shall introduce the disease of Small-pox into the public schools of this county. Kevin Dayhoff, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 26 Mar. 2021 In the photograph, one face is clear, while the other is riddled with pox. Brit Trogen, The Atlantic, 14 Jan. 2021 After all, only one virus in human history has been declared eradicated by a vaccine -- small pox. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, 28 Dec. 2020 Infectious disease was the leading killer of people for generations, Olszyk said, until the 1930s when better conditions and advancement in medicine lowered the numbers for such maladies as small pox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella. Pat Stoetzer, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, 18 Dec. 2020 After Trump’s election, in 2016, when both parties ran notably unpopular candidates, many feared that the American political system might simply wither from a pox-on-both-their-houses despair. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for pox

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pox.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pox. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for pox



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
3 : syphilis

More from Merriam-Webster on pox

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pox

Nglish: Translation of pox for Spanish Speakers


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