• synonyms


noun, plural au·rochs.
  1. a large, black European wild ox, Bos primigenius: extinct since 1627.
  2. (not used scientifically) the European bison.
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Origin of aurochs

1760–70; < German, variant (now obsolete) of Auerochs, Middle High German ūrochse, Old High German ūrohso, equivalent to ūr (cognate with Old English ūr bison) + ohso ox
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for aurochs


noun plural -rochs
  1. a recently extinct member of the cattle tribe, Bos primigenius, that inhabited forests in N Africa, Europe, and SW Asia. It had long horns and is thought to be one of the ancestors of modern cattleAlso called: urus
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Word Origin for aurochs

C18: from German, from Old High German ūrohso, from ūro bison + ohso ox
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

Word Origin and History for aurochs


1766, misapplication to the European bison (Bos bison) of a word that actually refers to a species of wild ox (Bos ursus) that went extinct 17c., from German Aurochs, from Old High German urohso, from uro "aurochs" (cognate with Old English ur, Old Norse ürr), of unknown origin, + ohso "ox" (see ox). Latin urus and Greek ouros are Germanic loan-words.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper