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[mok-see] /ˈmɒk si/
noun, Slang.
vigor; verve; pep.
courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
skill; know-how.
Origin of moxie
1925-30, Americanism; after Moxie, a trademark (name of a soft drink) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for moxie


(US & Canadian, slang) courage, nerve, or vigour
Word Origin
from the trademark Moxie, a soft drink
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for moxie

"courage," 1930, from Moxie, brand name of a bitter, non-alcoholic drink, 1885, perhaps as far back as 1876 as the name of a patent medicine advertised to "build up your nerve;" despite legendary origin stories put out by the company that made it, it is perhaps ultimately from a New England Indian word (it figures in river and lake names in Maine, where it is apparently from Abenaki and means "dark water"). Much-imitated in its day; in 1917 the Moxie Company won an infringement suit against a competitor's beverage marketed as "Proxie."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for moxie



  1. Courage; guts: You're young and tough and got the moxie and can hit
  2. Energy; assertive force; pizzazz: We knew you had the old moxie, the old get out and get
  3. Skill; competence; shrewdness: showed plenty of moxie as he scattered seven hits the rest of the way

[1908+; the semantic history is not entirely clear; best known fr the advertising slogan ''What this country needs is plenty of Moxie,'' used for a brand of soft drink registered in 1924; but other Moxie drinks preexisted this: a patent ''nerve medicine'' of the same name was marketed in 1876; the name may be based on a New England Indian term found in several Maine place names and perhaps in the name of a plant, moxie-berry]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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