Definition of oryx in US English:



  • 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

    • ‘Zoos from around the world will contribute either female oryxes or oryx sperm to create the widest-possible genetic mix.’
    • ‘Its game species include elephants, springbok, kudu, oryx, ostrich, and numerous endemic species of birds.’
    • ‘On a private game reserve, Intu Afrika, the acacia trees hide giraffes, oryx (a large, straight-horned antelope), eland and ostriches.’
    • ‘The Turkana helped identify the best cabin spots for viewing sunrises over the water and for spotting the occasional oryx or gazelle.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘His animals were the pig, the donkey, the hippopotamus, and the desert oryx.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The land, previously part of the grounds of Aras an Uachtaráin, gives a more natural habitat to giraffes, rhinos, hippos, oryx and zebras.’
    • ‘And then a wild array of plain animals: wildebeest, zebra, eland, hartebeest, oryx, reedbuck, giraffe, Thompson gazelle, and many more of the same genre.’
    • ‘One of our oryx - an endangered breed of North African antelope - is lame and the vet recommends a deeper bed and medication.’
    • ‘They watched out for lions, cheetahs and a particular favourite, the oryx, the African antelope with its wonderful horns.’
    • ‘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 once nearly extinct white oryx, an antelope, has been successfully reintroduced into the wild in Oman.’


Late Middle English: via Latin from Greek orux ‘stonemason's pickax’ (because of its pointed horns).