Ox (?), n.; pl. Oxen (#). [AS. oxa; akin to D. os. G. ochs, ochse, OHG. ohso, Icel. oxi, Sw. & Dan. oxe, Goth. a�xa3;hsa, Skr. ukshan ox, bull; cf. Skr. uksh to sprinkle. Cf. Humid, Aurochs.] Zool.

The male of bovine quadrupeds, especially the domestic animal when castrated and grown to its full size, or nearly so. The word is also applied, as a general name, to any species of bovine animals, male and female.

All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field. Ps. viii. 7.

⇒ The castrated male is called a steer until it attains its full growth, and then, an ox; but if castrated somewhat late in life, it is called a stag. The male, not castrated, is called a bull. These distinctions are well established in regard to domestic animals of this genus. When wild animals of this kind are spoken of, ox is often applied both to the male and the female. The name ox is never applied to the individual cow, or female, of the domestic kind. Oxen may comprehend both the male and the female.

Grunting ox Zool., the yak. -- Indian ox Zool., the zebu. -- Javan ox Zool., the banteng. -- Musk ox. Zool. See under Musk. -- Ox bile. See Ox gall, below. -- Ox gall, the fresh gall of the domestic ox; -- used in the arts and in medicine. -- Ox pith, ox marrow. [Obs.] Marston. -- Ox ray Zool., a very large ray (Dicerobatis Giornae) of Southern Europe. It has a hornlike organ projecting forward from each pectoral fin. It sometimes becomes twenty feet long and twenty-eight feet broad, and weighs over a ton. Called also sea devil. -- To have the black ox tread on one's foot, to be unfortunate; to know what sorrow is (because black oxen were sacrificed to Pluto). Leigh Hunt.

 

© Webster 1913.

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