Definition of ox in US English:

ox

noun

  • 1A domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat; a cow or bull.

    See cattle (sense 1)
    • ‘They threaten high mortality for oxen, cows and horses.’
    • ‘They raise their crop and feed their oxen in Chu-chun village,’
    • ‘But in reality, Husk was going to further alter the cows into the guise of missing oxen, receiving bounties without the hard labor.’
    • ‘The beef cows and oxen were kept in the pasture further from the cottage.’
    • ‘Although there were originally 22 oxen, 3 animals died during the year, so the sample size varies slightly between experiments.’
    • ‘Even though most such oxen are used for plowing, which is forbidden in the Sabbatical year, it is not unusual for someone to buy an ox for its meat.’
    • ‘The country work consists of harvesting and plowing, raising cattle, chickens, horses, and oxen.’
    • ‘The soft, nutritious substance found in the internal cavities of animal bones, especially the shin bones of oxen and calves.’
    • ‘It is really heartbreaking to see flocks of buffaloes and oxen being taken to slaughterhouses tied together with ropes around their noses.’
    • ‘Under his patient handling, the donkeys and oxen became more tractable - the cows and ewes gave more milk than they had in years.’
    • ‘Later, the king sent a herd of oxen to trample his enemy, but the cattle took care not to hurt Zoroaster.’
    • ‘The shoulder blades of oxen or cattle were used as shovels to clear away the stones.’
    • ‘He separated the calf from the other oxen and kept it among the milk cows.’
    • ‘In tune with the tradition of worshipping nature, the Kanuma festival is dedicated entirely to cows and oxen.’
    • ‘The horn I will refer to is primarily that which grows on the heads of cattle or oxen.’
    • ‘If you look closely, the oxen seem to be Texas longhorn steers, a breed that Mongols might have appreciated, but never saw.’
    • ‘Then he instructed young men to slaughter oxen, and perhaps other animals, to offer burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.’
    • ‘How about paying some deadbeat dads to slaughter a herd of oxen and throw those fabulous thighbones on the barbie?’
    • ‘Instead it is likely a feral form of a domestic animal, the scientists say, probably a hybrid of the mainland banteng and the zebu, strains of both of which are common among domestic oxen in Southeast Asia.’
    • ‘He decorated his Christmas cards with totemic animals copied from Aboriginal rock galleries, not sheep and oxen kneeling in prayer around a manger.’
    bull, bullock, steer, beef
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A castrated male of this, formerly much used as a draft animal.
      as modifier ‘an ox cart’
      • ‘It carried passengers in new stagecoaches and freight from the mines using twelve-mule teams and prairie schooners pulled by sixteen oxen plus six spare animals.’
      • ‘The waggon stood ready, and Osred scratched the ears of one of the yoked oxen as he waited.’
      • ‘How else could fifty serfs use a handful of oxen to plow their fields?’
      • ‘The story goes that before the advent of trains, the Lambanis travelled with their oxen and cattle from village to village carrying salt.’
      • ‘Soils that were tilled by oxen for centuries have responded with increased yields from tractor-powered plowing.’
      • ‘There was a crude, wooden cart pulled by two oxen, whose nodding heads kept rhythm with the gay fringes on their horns.’
      • ‘For example, ploughs, which required the use of oxen, brought men more centrally into agriculture, and on mission stations men were encouraged to work the fields.’
      • ‘The average farm had poultry, pigs, and livestock, used oxen as draught animals, and would, in the eighteenth century, acquire horses.’
      • ‘For example, arable agriculture on the demesne centred on the use of oxen ploughteams and their complement of manpower.’
      • ‘Tools like the oxen plow, railroads, electricity, automobiles, planes, cell phones, and the web, have all in one way or another been used for good and evil purposes.’
      • ‘Carts pulled by malnourished oxen and bicycles were the main modes of transportation.’
      • ‘It was an old-fashioned farm that used oxen to plough the fields.’
      • ‘Beside the sugar, oxen tug and buck ploughs over stony earth, men ride high-stepping horses with long stirrups and straw cowboy hats pulled down over their eyes, looking like extras from Hollywood.’
      • ‘The wagon train had decided to halt for another day, quite a few wagons had broken oxen yokes or wheels in the crossing, and it made more sense to make good, strong repairs, then quick, easily re-broken ones.’
      • ‘Tractors and even oxen teams are rare in the high Andes.’
      • ‘Households commonly raise cows, pigs, sheep, goats, turkeys and chickens, geese and ducks, while oxen and horses are work animals.’
      • ‘There were sheep and goat herders carrying long guide sticks, men plowing with oxen or leading camels to market.’
      • ‘The lack of power for fieldwork hampered nineteenth-century agriculture, although the replacement of oxen with horses improved the situation for most farmers.’
      • ‘Most farmers have two oxen or buffalo for wet rice cultivation, a hoe, and a cart.’
      • ‘Quite often, the yoked oxen are nowhere in sight, and there is only a tractor drawing a mechanised plough across the irrigated land.’
    2. 1.2 An animal of a group related to the domestic ox.
      See cattle (sense 2)
      • ‘As far as I know, the Nazis never got to thinking about restoring migratory eagles, warblers, cross-border wolves, or wild oxen.’
      • ‘The Chillingham herd is believed to be related to prehistoric auroch oxen, which once grazed across northern Europe.’
      • ‘Apparently, Irish cows are not Irish either, but relations of the first domesticated wild oxen to be brought to this part of the world from the east by the first farmers.’
      • ‘The forests supported tigers, elephants, wild boar, oxen, and deer, as well as wildfowl.’
      • ‘From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.’
      • ‘Of all the unsolved mysteries of the Arctic, the fall and rise of musk-oxen on Banks Island is one of the most beguiling.’
      • ‘It says they aren't oxen at all, and aren't really even related to bison, but more closely to goats and sheep.’
      • ‘Defenders of Wildlife warns that drilling will likely disturb the historic birthing grounds of oxen and caribou, resulting in lower birthrates.’
      • ‘The ones of more recent date were from wild oxen that had lived as neighbors of domestic herds then kept in Britain.’
      • ‘A land that is home to walruses, seals, foxes, wolves, oxen, polar bears, and where six million birds fly in for summer, can hardly be called forbidden.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

ox

/äks//ɑks/