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.

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

n.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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