Definition of aurochs in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈouˌräks/
Pronunciation: /ˈôˌräks/

noun (plural same)

A large wild Eurasian ox that was the ancestor of domestic cattle. It was probably exterminated in Britain in the Bronze Age, and the last one was killed in Poland in 1627. Also called urus.
  • Bos taurus (formerly primigenius) , family Bovidae.
Example sentences
  • Artwork and human remains indicate that some 40,000 years ago, our ancestors shared this landscape with rhinoceroses, bison, mammoths, aurochs, wild horses, and giant elks.
  • In the millennia since early Mesopotamians first converted the fierce, ancestral aurochs into the contented cow, a wide variety of specialized breeds have been developed.
  • The lake basin includes piles of skeletons of large mammals such as fallow deer, red deer, and aurochs, the ancestor of modern cattle.


Late 18th century: from German, early variant of Auerochs, from Old High German ūrohso, from ūr (form also found in Old English, of unknown origin) + ohso 'ox'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: au·rochs

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