\ 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 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 Slow play has been a pox on the pro game since long before Mickelson, 49, arrived on the scene. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Golf’s New Breed Tries to Speed Things Up," 15 Aug. 2019 What seemed like a pox on the campaign known for fighting for workers' rights and a $15 federal minimum wage may have been overblown, says Jonathan Williams, the Communications Director for the UFCW Local 400. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Voters say they may skip Mueller's testimony to Congress," 23 July 2019 Save room for dessert at Joe Gelato—be sure to ask for the secret menu: maiz gelato topped with smoky pox, a popular corn liquor first used by the Mayans in religious ceremonies. Michaela Trimble, Vogue, "An Insider’s Guide to Colonia Juárez, Mexico City’s Hottest Neighborhood," 3 July 2019 But other viruses, including influenza and variola (pox) have been found in archaeological human remains as much as 400 years old, and Mühlemann says that others like herpes viruses, parvoviruses, and adenoviruses might be good candidates. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Genghis Khan’s Mongol horde probably had rampant Hepatitis B," 11 May 2018

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

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pox.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poxy. Accessed 29 January 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pox

Spanish Central: Translation of pox

Nglish: Translation of pox for Spanish Speakers

Comments on pox

What made you want to look up pox? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assert without proof or before proving

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