• synonyms


noun, plural ox·en for 1, 2, ox·es for 3.
  1. the adult castrated male of the genus Bos, used chiefly as a draft animal.
  2. any member of the bovine family.
  3. Informal. a clumsy, stupid fellow.
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Origin of ox

before 900; Middle English oxe, Old English oxa; cognate with Old Frisian oxa, Old Saxon, Old High German ohso, Old Norse uxi, oxi; akin to Welsh ych
Related formsox·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for oxlike

Historical Examples

  • There were parties of Chinese, sometimes on foot and sometimes with trains of mules or yaks, the oxlike Tibetan beasts of burden.

    The Caves of Fear

    John Blaine

  • These oxlike men are descendants of those who always stayed behind.

    The Old World in the New

    Edward Alsworth Ross

  • Conditions were too adverse; they simply weakened and slipped slowly back into dullness and an oxlike or else a fretful patience.

    Wayside Courtships

    Hamlin Garland

  • Philip, holding his candle aloft, marveled at his own temerity in hitting this giant, oxlike in size and strength.

British Dictionary definitions for oxlike


noun plural oxen (ˈɒksən)
  1. an adult castrated male of any domesticated species of cattle, esp Bos taurus, used for draught work and meat
  2. any bovine mammal, esp any of the domestic cattle
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Word Origin

Old English oxa; related to Old Saxon, Old High German ohso, Old Norse oxi
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 oxlike



Old English oxa "ox" (plural oxan), from Proto-Germanic *ukhson (cf. Old Norse oxi, Old Frisian oxa, Middle Dutch osse, Old Saxon, Old High German ohso, German Ochse, Gothic auhsa), from PIE *uks-en- "male animal," (cf. Welsh ych "ox," Middle Irish oss "stag," Sanskrit uksa, Avestan uxshan- "ox, bull"), said to be from root *uks- "to sprinkle," related to *ugw- "wet, moist." The animal word, then, is literally "besprinkler."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper