vixen

[ vik-suhn ]
/ ˈvɪk sən /

noun

a female fox.
an ill-tempered or quarrelsome woman.
a woman considered to be sexually attractive.

Nearby words

  1. vivisect,
  2. vivisection,
  3. vivisectionist,
  4. vivo,
  5. vivyan,
  6. vixenly,
  7. viyella,
  8. viz,
  9. viz.,
  10. vizagapatam

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

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

Examples from the Web for vixen


British Dictionary definitions for vixen

vixen

/ (ˈvɪksən) /

noun

a female fox
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

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