Definition of pox in English:

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Pronunciation: /pɒks/


1Any of several viral diseases producing a rash of pimples that become pus-filled and leave pockmarks on healing.
Example sentences
  • Smallpox was (the WHO declared it eradicated in 1977) a very ancient scourge related to, and possibly deriving from, one of the various animal poxes.
  • In 2003, more than 70 people were infected with monkey pox, a viral infection never before seen in this country, after handling infected prairie dogs sold as pets.
  • What we know from animal experiments is that the fowl pox by itself, or the DNA by itself, are not very good vaccines.
1.1 (the pox) informal Syphilis.
Example sentences
  • Venereal disease, especially syphilis or the pox, also featured prominently in abusive language.
  • Today we've got pox on the brain; it's syphilis, and the arguments that rage around not only the disease but also the people who may have had it.
  • Boswell's father wrote frankly to a female friend that his son had got the pox again; in reply, she noted that the disease had grown quite common.
1.2 (the pox) historical Smallpox.
Example sentences
  • At those words a doctor arrived, clad in the long leather coat and bird-mask of the Plague Years, reeking of pox and fire though London had known neither in more than a lifetime.
  • And I do mean pox with full medieval connotations.
  • The invention was presented as a means of avoiding piles, pox and plague.


a pox on

archaic Used as a curse: a pox on both their houses!
More example sentences
  • Procrastination is a pox on almost every artist I know, and while we keep the beast at bay by being parents and having the limits of childcare imposed on our time, the temptation to look away from creative work is great.
  • And a pox on him, for reminding me of the damn song.
  • It's understandable if your response to this breathless battle between corporate giants is to pray for a pox on both their houses.


Late Middle English: alteration of pocks, plural of pock.

Words that rhyme with pox

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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pox

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