There are 2 main definitions of fox in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

fox1

Syllabification: fox
Pronunciation: /fäks
 
/

noun

1A carnivorous mammal of the dog family with a pointed muzzle and bushy tail, proverbial for its cunning.
Example sentences
  • Eagles, rattlesnakes, deer, pronghorn antelope, foxes, coyotes, and mountain lions roam the area.
  • There are 36 species of Canidae, including dogs, wolves, coyotes, jackals and foxes.
  • When raccoons, coatis, foxes, coyotes, skunks, or bears bit the models, they left tooth marks in the plasticine.
Synonyms
1.1The fur of a fox.
Example sentences
  • It will join that old fox stole I rescued from a charity shop.
2 informal A cunning or sly person: a wily old fox
More example sentences
  • However, he observed, the old fox was too cunning for them.
  • Indians cannot tolerate it if the old foxes keep fighting and hamper Bangalore's growth.
  • It has been quite a century for the old fox, after all.
3North American informal A sexually attractive woman.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1 informal Baffle or deceive (someone): the bad light and dark shadows foxed him
More example sentences
  • But she throws in a slower serve which foxes the French player.
  • There are almost humorous situations: when a woman at a medical clinic tries to palm it off to an unsuspecting receptionist, and when an art dealer is foxed by the way his wife has been cheated.
  • The 22-year-old student admitted the greens had foxed him, but was delighted with his achievement of reaching the final.
2Repair (a boot or shoe) by renewing the upper leather.
2.1Ornament (the upper of a boot or shoe) with a strip of leather.
Example sentences
  • Their foxed tongues were stiff and bent as limbs of battlefield dead.

Origin

Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vos and German Fuchs.

More
  • An Old English word that is related to German Fuchs. As well as featuring in folklore ( see grapes) it is also a traditional quarry of hunters. Oscar Wilde described ‘The English country gentleman galloping after a fox—the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable’. Today the fox is as much an urban animal as a rural one, and its meaning has also shifted significantly. The US sense ‘an attractive woman’ is first recorded in the early 1960s, but the related adjective foxy was used before the First World War. This is an unusual development, in that fox is strictly masculine, the female being a vixen (Late Middle English). The two words are not as far apart as they might at first seem. Vixen was originally fixen, but in the past, as today, in the West Country an ‘f’ was often pronounced as a ‘v’, given vox and vixen and for some reason the West Country form stuck for the female. In the late 16th century vixen came to be a term for a bad-tempered woman (otherwise a shrew) so was not available for the new, sexual, sense. Foxed to describe a book with brownish spots on it dates from the mid 19th century and comes from the colour of the spots matching the reddish-brown of the animal.

Derivatives

foxlike

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Modern steeds did not follow a relatively smooth transition from the diminutive, foxlike forest browsers that were their earliest ancestors to those impressive, open-plains athletes we know today.
  • The foxlike smiles appeared on her advisors' faces again, and they nudged each other.
  • The ears were foxlike, the dilated eyes and pointed teeth were common to the family.

Words that rhyme with fox

box, cox, detox, Foxe, Knox, lox, outfox, ox, phlox, pox, Stocks

Definition of fox in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of fox in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

Fox2

Syllabification: Fox
Pronunciation: /
 
fäks/

noun (plural same)

1A member of an American Indian people formerly living in southern Wisconsin, and now mainly in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.
2The Algonquian language of the Fox.

adjective

Back to top  
Relating to the Fox or their language.

Definition of fox in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.