Definition of ox in English:


Syllabification: ox
Pronunciation: /äks

noun (plural oxen /ˈäksən/)

  • 1A domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat; a cow or bull. See cattle ( sense 1).
    More example sentences
    • The beef cows and oxen were kept in the pasture further from the cottage.
    • He separated the calf from the other oxen and kept it among the milk cows.
    • The soft, nutritious substance found in the internal cavities of animal bones, especially the shin bones of oxen and calves.
    bull, bullock, steer; Farming beef
  • 1.1A castrated male of this, formerly much used as a draft animal: [as modifier]: an ox cart
    More example sentences
    • The average farm had poultry, pigs, and livestock, used oxen as draught animals, and would, in the eighteenth century, acquire horses.
    • There was a crude, wooden cart pulled by two oxen, whose nodding heads kept rhythm with the gay fringes on their horns.
    • Carts pulled by malnourished oxen and bicycles were the main modes of transportation.
  • 1.2An animal of a group related to the domestic ox. See cattle ( sense 2).
    More example sentences
    • The ones of more recent date were from wild oxen that had lived as neighbors of domestic herds then kept in Britain.
    • The forests supported tigers, elephants, wild boar, oxen, and deer, as well as wildfowl.
    • Of all the unsolved mysteries of the Arctic, the fall and rise of musk-oxen on Banks Island is one of the most beguiling.


Old English oxa, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch os and German Ochse, from an Indo-European root shared by Sanskrit ukṣán 'bull'.

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