[ awr-iks, ohr- ]
/ ˈɔr ɪks, ˈoʊr- /

noun, plural o·ryx·es, (especially collectively) o·ryx.

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for oryx


/ (ˈɒrɪks) /

noun plural -yxes or -yx

any large African antelope of the genus Oryx, typically having long straight nearly upright horns

Word Origin for oryx

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

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