Etymology
Advertisement
ox (n.)

"the domestic Bos taurus" (commonly meaning the castrated males, used to pull loads or for food), Middle English oxe, from Old English oxa "ox" (plural oxan), from Proto-Germanic *ukhson (source also of 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," (source also of 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."

Also used from late Old English of the wild, undomesticated bovines. The black ox "misfortune, adversity, old age," etc., is by 1540s.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ox-gall (n.)

"bitter fluid secreted by the liver of an ox, used in paints and coloring," 1630s, from ox + gall (n.1).

Related entries & more 
ox-hide 

"the hide of an ox," mid-14c., from ox + hide (n.1).

Related entries & more 
ox-tongue (n.)

also oxtongue, "plant of the borage family with rough, tongue-shaped leaves," early 14c., oxe-tunge, from ox + tongue (n.).

Related entries & more 
ox-herd (n.)

also oxherd, "a keeper or herder of oxen," late 14c. (late 13c. as a surname), from ox + herd (n.2).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
ox-eyed (adj.)

"having large, full eyes," 1620s, from ox + -eyed. An epithet used by Homer (boōpis) of the goddess Hera (Juno) and beautiful women. Oxeye has since c. 1400 been a name given to various flowering plants thought to resemble the eye of an ox; it is also used of certain birds, fishes, and a type of mirror.

Related entries & more 
Oxo 

trade name of a brand of beef extract, 1899, British, from ox.

Related entries & more 
oxtail (n.)

"the tail of an ox, prepared as food," Old English oxan tægl; see ox + tail (n.1).

Related entries & more 
oxen (n.)

plural of ox, it is the only true continuous survival in Modern English of the Old English weak plural (see -en (1)). OED reports oxes occurs 14c.-16c., "but has not survived."

Related entries & more 
oxbow (n.)

also ox-bow, early 14c., ox-boue, "bow-shaped wooden collar for an ox," from ox + bow (n.1). Meaning "semicircular bend in a river" is from 1797, American English (New England), so called from the resemblance of the shape. The meaning "curved lake left after an oxbow meander has been cut off by a change in the river course" is from 1898.

Related entries & more