noun, often attributive
\ ˈfäks How to pronounce fox (audio) \
plural foxes also fox

Definition of fox

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : any of various carnivorous (see carnivorous sense 1) mammals (especially genus Vulpes) of the dog family related to but smaller than wolves with shorter legs, more pointed muzzle, large erect ears, and long bushy tail
b : the fur of a fox
2 : a clever crafty person He's a sly old fox.
3 : a good-looking young woman or man
4 capitalized : a member of an American Indian people formerly living in what is now Wisconsin
5 archaic : sword


foxed; foxing; foxes

Definition of fox (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to trick by ingenuity or cunning : outwit
b : baffle foxed by his behavior
2 obsolete : intoxicate

Examples of fox in a Sentence

Noun He's a wily old fox. she's a real fox—smart, sassy, and sexy Verb They foxed me into telling the secret. The problem had us foxed!
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Either way, news of his growing power already has ruffled more feathers in tech circles than a fox in a chicken coop. Clarence Page,, 12 Apr. 2022 Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo was also among the fox’s victims. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Apr. 2022 The fox that bit the Congressman fled before law enforcement officers arrived to help Bera. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 Apr. 2022 Both Representative Ami Bera and Politico reporter Ximena Bustillo confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday that they had been attacked by a fox while walking outside the Capitol. Victoria Albert, CBS News, 6 Apr. 2022 The office of the sergeant at arms sent an alert notifying members of Congress and staffers that U.S. Capitol Police had received reports Monday of people being attacked or bitten by a fox. Gregory Yeestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2022 Within a few hours, Tunic's combat begins to seriously ramp up—but thankfully, so does your fox's arsenal. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 16 Mar. 2022 The Colonial Revival manor house was designed by New York architect Penrose V. Stout for industrialist and fox hunting enthusiast Robert Earl McConnell and built about 1931. Washington Post, 16 Dec. 2021 One particular memory is awaking at dawn on the beach at Parson’s Landing and watching the elusive Catalina Island fox investigate our campsite. Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Raccoon: Raccoon is very similar to fox but rarely comes in any other colors besides that of a typical raccoon which is naturally ombré. Liana Satenstein, Marie Claire, 13 Feb. 2014 Raines has a USDA license to exhibit and sell foxes, but does the latter only to fox sanctuaries, or people who have track records owning foxes, preferably with a license similar to hers. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, 3 May 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fox.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fox


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for fox

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German fuhs fox and perhaps to Sanskrit puccha tail

Learn More About fox

Time Traveler for fox

Time Traveler

The first known use of fox was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near fox

fowl spirochetosis



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for fox

Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fox.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for fox


\ ˈfäks How to pronounce fox (audio) \

Kids Definition of fox

1 : a wild animal closely related to the wolf that has a sharp snout, pointed ears, and a long bushy tail
2 capitalized : a member of a tribe of indigenous people formerly living in what is now Wisconsin

Fox biographical name (1)

\ ˈfäks How to pronounce Fox (audio) \

Definition of Fox

 (Entry 1 of 3)

Charles James 1749–1806 English statesman and orator


biographical name (2)

Definition of Fox (Entry 2 of 3)

George 1624–1691 English preacher and founder of Society of Friends


geographical name
\ ˈfäks How to pronounce Fox (audio) \

Definition of Fox (Entry 3 of 3)

1 river 220 miles (354 kilometers) long in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois flowing south into the Illinois River
2 river 175 miles (282 kilometers) long in eastern Wisconsin flowing northeast and north through Lake Winnebago into Green Bay

More from Merriam-Webster on fox

Nglish: Translation of fox for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fox for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about fox


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!