vixen

[vik-suhn]
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Origin of vixen

1375–1425; late Middle English (south); replacing earlier fixen, Middle English (north), for Old English fyxe, feminine of fox fox (compare fyxen (adjective) “pertaining to a fox,” Old High German fuhsin (noun) “vixen”)
Related formsvix·en·ish, vix·en·ly, adjective

Synonyms for vixen

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for vixen

Contemporary Examples of vixen

  • A picture was forming of Amanda as a vixen with dark impulses, and her family struggled to control the firestorm.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How the Media Got Knox Wrong

    Barbie Latza Nadeau

    April 2, 2010

Historical Examples of vixen

  • "We don't scare worth a cent," she snapped, with the virulence of a vixen.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • "I wonder what that vixen has said to her," he thought, as he turned in for the night.

  • If you should make a match with her, she is a very likely creature, though a vixen, as you say.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • The vixen growled, and, picking up her prey, carried it to the bramble-clump.

  • The vixen warned him repeatedly; and she herself, after giving the signal “Hide!”


British Dictionary definitions for vixen

vixen

noun
  1. a female fox
  2. a quarrelsome or spiteful woman
Derived Formsvixenish, adjectivevixenishly, adverbvixenishness, nounvixenly, adverb, adjective

Word Origin for vixen

C15: fixen; related to Old English fyxe, feminine of fox; compare Old High German fuhsīn
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 vixen
n.

Old English *fyxen (implied in adjective fyxan), fem. of fox (see fox, and cf. Middle High German vühsinne, German füchsin). Solitary English survival of the Germanic feminine suffix -en, -in (cf. Old English gyden "goddess;" mynecen "nun," from munuc "monk;" wlyfen "she-wolf"). The figurative sense "ill-tempered woman" is attested from 1570s. The spelling shift from -f- to -v- began late 1500s (see V).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper