The Plural of Ox: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Here is a brief explanation of how to use the word ox and the plural form of ox. Let’s go over the meaning of this word of the day, its plural form, the history and origin of the word, synonyms, and examples of the word used in a sentence. Next time you go to use the word ox you will be an expert.

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What Is the Definition of the Word Ox?

The word ox means:

  • A domestic bovine mammal (genus Bos taurus)
  • Broadly: a bovine mammal
    • A team of oxen
  • An adult castrated male domestic ox

What Is the Correct Plural of Ox?

The correct plural of ox is oxen. The word ox comes from Old English oxa and so the plural form follows the rules from Old English words. If you look at the grammar of Old English you will notice many nouns add the en-form in order to become plural. 

Interestingly enough the plural of eye was eyen and the plural of hose was hosen. There are not many plural words that still keep the en plural but oxen has survived into the modern English language as a relic of what was once common.

Since the word ox was used back in the 12th century we can see why it has had the now-irregular plural ending. This was the common way of making plural nouns in England, especially in the southern part of the country all the way till the 16th century. Northern England started switching their plurals to end in s by the 14th century. 

The History and Origin of the Word

The word ox can be traced back to at least the 12th century. The root language for the word ox is Middle English. The Middle English oxe spelling was similar to that in other Germanic languages like Old High German ohso ox, German ochse, Proto-Indo-European uksen, and cognate with Sanskrit ukṣā bull and Welsh ych. 

Synonyms of the Word Ox from a Thesaurus

  • Burly – strongly and heavily built
  • Hulking – ponderous, massive
  • Sturdy – firmly built or constituted, sound in design or execution, marked by or reflecting physical strength or vigor
  • Hulk – a heavy clumsy ship, one that is bulky or unwieldy
  • Brawny – muscular, being swollen and hard
  • Hefty – quite heavy, marked by bigness, bulk, and usually strength, powerful, mighty, impressively large
  • Hunk – a large lump, piece, or portion, an attractive and usually well-built man
  • Husky – hoarse with or as if with emotion, a heavy-coated working dog of the New World arctic region, burly, robust, large
  • Powerful – having great power, prestige, or influence, leading to many or important deductions
  • Powerhouse – a source of influence or inspiration, one having great power
  • Robust – having or exhibiting strength or vigorous health, having or showing vigor, strength, or firmness, strongly formed or constructed, capable of performing without failure under a wide range of conditions
  • Stalwart – marked by outstanding strength and vigor of body, mind, or spirt
  • Stout – strong of character, brave, bold, firm, determined, physically or materially strong
  • Tall – high in stature, of a specified height, long from bottom to top, of a higher growing variety or species of plant, large or formidable in amount, extent, or degree
  • Vigorous – done with vigor, carried out forcefully and energetically
  • Well-built – built to be strong or to work well, physically strong

Examples of the Word in Context


Now you are an expert on all things related to the word ox. Next time you need to write the word ox, you will be well prepared for everything you need to know what it is and how to do it efficiently.