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[awr-iks, ohr-] /ˈɔr ɪks, ˈoʊr-/
noun, plural oryxes (especially collectively) oryx.
a large African antelope, Oryx gazella, grayish with black markings and having long, nearly straight horns: an endangered species.
Origin of oryx
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin < Greek óryx pickax, oryx Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oryx
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Aristotle mentions as such the oryx or antelope of northern Africa.

  • Of course the oryx were also brought up to the camp to be skinned and cut up.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • The oryx when hunted does not, like many other antelopes, make for either water or cover.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • An interesting point occurred in the conversation about the oryx.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • The fourth species of oryx is the “algazel,” (oryx algazella).

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • Egyptian sculpture is at best but a rude affair, and the peculiar curve and set of the oryx horns are difficult to depict.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • The oryx next became the subject of conversation, and Swartboy could tell more about it than any one.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • The “abu-harb” (oryx leucoryx) is also a large powerful antelope, with long sharp horns slightly curved backward.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • In form it bears a good deal of resemblance to the oryx, and was really the animal known by this name to the Greeks and Romans.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for oryx


noun (pl) -yxes, -yx
any large African antelope of the genus Oryx, typically having long straight nearly upright horns
Word Origin
C14: via Latin from Greek orux stonemason's axe, used also of the pointed horns of an antelope
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 oryx

late 14c., from Latin oryx, from Greek oryx (genitive orygos) "North African antelope with pointed horns, the digging animal," literally "pick-axe." Used in Greek and Latin bibles to render Hebrew tho, which early English Bibles misidentified as everything from a small hibernating animal to a wild bull.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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