One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several species of antelopes native to arid regions of Africa and Asia, having dark markings on the face and long, pointed horns.
Genus Oryx, family Bovidae: several species, including the Arabian oryx (O. leucoryx). See also gemsbok, scimitar oryx
- ‘Towards the west end of the zoo were a number of large paddocks, home to zebras, deer, horned oryx and Przewalski wild horses.’
- ‘Afterwards, I sit on my terrace and watch what may be kudus, springboks or oryxes amble to the water hole.’
- ‘Visitors to Fota can also see a two-week-old zebra foal on the grassland this summer, as well as a week-old oryx antelope calf.’
- ‘On a private game reserve, Intu Afrika, the acacia trees hide giraffes, oryx (a large, straight-horned antelope), eland and ostriches.’
- ‘And then a wild array of plain animals: wildebeest, zebra, eland, hartebeest, oryx, reedbuck, giraffe, Thompson gazelle, and many more of the same genre.’
- ‘The Sultan of Oman, for instance, has worked with the World Wildlife Fund to successfully reintroduce the native oryx (an antelope that had disappeared from the wild in the 1970s).’
- ‘The once nearly extinct white oryx, an antelope, has been successfully reintroduced into the wild in Oman.’
- ‘The trail isn't supposed to be a wildlife safari, but we sight many kudu, oryx, baboons and mountain zebra, and a huge Kori Bustard taking to the air.’
- ‘This small but spectacular reserve gives visitors a dramatic taste of northern Kenya and its unique dry-country animals: oryx, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe and rare Grevy's zebra.’
- ‘Its game species include elephants, springbok, kudu, oryx, ostrich, and numerous endemic species of birds.’
- ‘The Arabian house will be home to the scymitar oryx, a medium sized antelope with long curved horns believed to be extinct in the wild, and other desert dwellers.’
- ‘The land, previously part of the grounds of Aras an Uachtaráin, gives a more natural habitat to giraffes, rhinos, hippos, oryx and zebras.’
- ‘Kamuniak first hit the news in January after adopting its first oryx calf, escorting and protecting it around the reserve for 15 days before a male lion attacked and killed the baby oryx while the lioness was sleeping.’
- ‘The Turkana helped identify the best cabin spots for viewing sunrises over the water and for spotting the occasional oryx or gazelle.’
- ‘His animals were the pig, the donkey, the hippopotamus, and the desert oryx.’
- ‘In that same year, the last Syrian desert ostrich died, steeling a Rooseveltian determination to prevent other endangered species like the oryx and the Nubian ibex from meeting the same fate.’
- ‘One of our oryx - an endangered breed of North African antelope - is lame and the vet recommends a deeper bed and medication.’
- ‘Zoos from around the world will contribute either female oryxes or oryx sperm to create the widest-possible genetic mix.’
- ‘On a wall, alongside the head of an oryx shot by her husband in the Kalahari desert, is a second world war bazooka - a present from a friend with a curious sense of humour.’
- ‘They watched out for lions, cheetahs and a particular favourite, the oryx, the African antelope with its wonderful horns.’
Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek orux ‘stonemason's pickax’ (because of its pointed horns).
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