Oxen vs. Ox - What's the difference?


  • Ox

    An ox (plural oxen), also known as a bullock in Australia and India, is a bovine trained as a draft animal. Oxen are commonly castrated adult male cattle; castration makes the animals easier to control. Cows (adult females) or bulls (intact males) may also be used in some areas. Oxen are used for plowing, for transport (pulling carts, hauling wagons and even riding), for threshing grain by trampling, and for powering machines that grind grain or supply irrigation among other purposes. Oxen may be also used to skid logs in forests, particularly in low-impact, select-cut logging. Oxen are usually yoked in pairs. Light work such as carting household items on good roads might require just one pair, while for heavier work, further pairs would be added as necessary. A team used for a heavy load over difficult ground might exceed nine or ten pairs.


  • Oxen (noun)

    plural of ox

  • Oxen (adjective)

    Of, relating to, or resembling an ox; oxlike

  • Ox (noun)

    An B. taurus).

  • Ox (noun)

    Any bovine animal (genus Bos). A neat, a beef.

Oxford Dictionary

  • Ox (noun)

    a domesticated bovine animal kept for milk or meat; a cow or bull

    "he was tall and broad and as strong as an ox"

  • Ox (noun)

    a castrated bull used as a draught animal

    "an ox cart"

  • Ox (noun)

    used in names of wild animals related to or resembling a domesticated ox, e.g. musk ox.

Webster Dictionary

  • Ox (noun)

    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.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Oxen (noun)

    domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age;

    "so many head of cattle"

    "wait till the cows come home"

    "seven thin and ill-favored kine"

    "a team of oxen"

  • Ox (noun)

    an adult castrated bull of the genus Bos; especially Bos taurus

  • Ox (noun)

    any of various wild bovines especially of the genera Bos or closely related Bibos

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