AskDefine | Define fox

Dictionary Definition

fox

Noun

1 alert carnivorous mammal with pointed muzzle and ears and a bushy tail; most are predators that do not hunt in packs
2 a shifty deceptive person [syn: dodger, slyboots]
3 the gray or reddish-brown fur of a fox
4 English statesman who supported American independence and the French Revolution (1749-1806) [syn: Charles James Fox]
5 English religious leader who founded the Society of Friends (1624-1691) [syn: George Fox]
6 a member of an Algonquian people formerly living west of Lake Michigan along the Fox River
7 the Algonquian language of the Fox people

Verb

1 deceive somebody; "We tricked the teacher into thinking that class would be cancelled next week" [syn: trick, fob, pull a fast one on, play a trick on]
2 be confusing or perplexing to; cause to be unable to think clearly; "These questions confuse even the experts"; "This question completely threw me"; "This question befuddled even the teacher" [syn: confuse, throw, befuddle, fuddle, bedevil, confound, discombobulate]
3 become discolored with, or as if with, mildew spots

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

etyl ang fox, from West Germanic *fukhs, from , from , from . Cognates include German Fuchs, West Frisian foks, and Dutch vos.

Pronunciation

  • a UK /fɒks/, /fQks/
  • a US /fɑks/, /fAks/
  • Rhymes with: -ɒks

Noun

  1. A red fox, small carnivore (Vulpes vulpes), related to dogs and wolves, with red or silver fur and a bushy tail.
  2. Any of numerous species of small wild canids resembling the red fox. In the taxonomy they form the genus Vulpes wihin the family Canidae, consisting of nine genera (see the Wikipedia article on the fox).
  3. A fox terrier.
  4. A cunning person.
  5. An attractive man or woman.

Translations

Vulpes vulpes
any of the species in the tribe Vulpini
fox terrier
cunning person
attractive woman
  • Czech: kočka
  • Russian: красавица

See also

Verb

  1. To trick, fool or outwit (someone) by cunning or ingenuity.
  2. To confuse or baffle (someone).
    This crossword puzzle has completely foxed me.
  3. To act slyly or craftily.
  4. (intransitive). To discolour paper. Fox marks are spots on paper caused by humidity.
    The pages of the book show distinct foxing.

Translations

to trick
to confuse
to act slyly

See also

Old English

Etymology

From Germanic *fuhsa- < Indo-European *puk-, *peuk- (‘bushy hair’). Cognate with Old Saxon vuhs (Dutch vos), Old High German fuhs (German Fuchs). A North Germanic variant *fuhō- gave Old Norse fóa, Norn fūa. The IE root was also the source of Avestan pusa- (‘plait’), Slavic *puxъ (Russian пух ‘fuzz’), Baltic *pausti- (Lithuanian paustìs ‘fur’).

Pronunciation

  • /foks/

Noun

fox
  1. a fox

Extensive Definition

Fox is a name applied to any of roughly 27 species of small to medium-sized canids, characterized by possessing a long, narrow snout, and a bushy tail, or "brush". By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe has led to their appearance in the popular culture and folklore of many nations, tribes, and other cultural groups (see Foxes in culture).

Etymology

The Modern English "fox" is derived from Old English fox. The Old English word itself comes from the Proto-Germanic word *fukh – compare German Fuchs, Gothic fauho, Old Norse foa and Dutch vos. It corresponds to the Proto-Indo-European word *puke meaning "tail" (compare Sanskrit puccha, also "tail"). The bushy tail is also the source of the word for fox in Welsh: llwynog, from llwyn, "bush" Dogs (male foxes) weigh on average, 5.9kg and vixens (female foxes) weigh less, at 5.2kg (13 lbs and 11.5 lbs, respectively).

General characteristics

Most foxes live 2 to 3 years, but they can survive for up to 10 years or even longer in captivity. Foxes are generally smaller than other members of the family Canidae such as wolves, jackals, and domestic dogs. Fox-like features typically include an acute muzzle (a "fox face") and bushy tail. Other physical characteristics vary according to their habitat. For example, the fennec fox (and other species of foxes adapted to life in the desert, such as the kit fox) has large ears and short fur, whereas the Arctic fox has small ears and thick, insulating fur.
Another example is the red fox which has a typical auburn pelt, the tail normally ending with white marking.
Unlike many canids, foxes are usually not pack animals. Typically, they are solitary, opportunistic feeders that hunt live prey (especially rodents). Using a pouncing technique practiced from an early age, they are usually able to kill their prey quickly. Foxes also gather a wide variety of other foods ranging from grasshoppers to fruit and berries.
Foxes are normally extremely wary of humans and are not kept as pets (with the exception of the fennec); however, the silver fox was successfully domesticated in Russia after a 45 year selective breeding program. This selective breeding also resulted in physical and behavioural traits appearing that are frequently seen in domestic cats, dogs, and other animals: pigmentation changes, floppy ears, and curly tails.

Classification

Canids commonly known as foxes include members of the following genera:

Diet

The diet of foxes comprises rodents, insects, worms, fruit, fish, birds, eggs and all other kinds of small animals. The fox generally consumes around 1 kg of food every day. Foxes that live in neighborhoods mainly depend on household waste and even rodents and birds that keep moving around these areas. Foxes are known to cache their food, burying the excess for later consumption.
They mostly thrive in the higher latitudes, suburban and even urban environments both in Europe and in North America. They are found also in Eurasia, North Africa, India (Ladakh, Himalayas, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Gujarat), China, Japan and in Australia.

Conservation

Foxes are readily found in cities and cultivated areas and (depending upon species) seem to adapt reasonably well to human presence.
Red foxes have been introduced into Australia and some other countries for hunting. Australia lacks similar carnivores, and the introduced foxes prey on native wildlife, some to the point of extinction. A similar introduction occurred in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in America, where European reds (Vulpes vulpes) were brought to the colonies for fox hunting, where they decimated the American red fox (Vulpes veloxi) population through more aggressive hunting and breeding. Interbreeding with American reds, traits of the European red eventually pervaded the genepool, leaving European and American foxes now virtually identical.
Other fox species do not adapt as well as the red fox, and are endangered in their native environments. Key among these are the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous) and the African bat-eared fox. Other foxes such as fennecs, are not endangered, but will be if humans encroach further into their habitat.
Foxes have been successfully employed to control pests on fruit farms, where they leave the fruit intact.
Historians believe foxes were imported into non-native environments long before the colonial era. The first example of the introduction of the fox into a new habitat by humans seems to be Neolithic Cyprus. Stone carvings representing foxes have been found in the early settlement of Göbekli Tepe in eastern Turkey.

References

See also

fox in Arabic: ثعلب
fox in Aragonese: Raboso
fox in Asturian: Raposu
fox in Guarani: Aguara
fox in Aymara: Qamaqi
fox in Breton: Louarn
fox in Bulgarian: Лисица
fox in Czech: Liška (říše živočichů)
fox in Welsh: Llwynog
fox in Danish: Ræv
fox in Pennsylvania German: Fux
fox in German: Fuchs (Säugetier)
fox in Navajo: Maʼéé
fox in Spanish: Vulpini
fox in Esperanto: Vulpo
fox in Basque: Azeri
fox in Persian: روباه
fox in French: Renard
fox in Scottish Gaelic: Sionnach
fox in Gothic: 𐍆𐌰𐌿𐌷𐍉
fox in Korean: 여우
fox in Croatian: Lisica
fox in Indonesian: Rubah
fox in Icelandic: Refir
fox in Georgian: მელა
fox in Kurdish: Rûvî (ajal)
fox in Hungarian: Rókák
fox in Malayalam: കുറുക്കന്‍
fox in Japanese: キツネ
fox in Polish: Lis
fox in Portuguese: Raposa
fox in Romanian: Vulpe
fox in Simple English: Fox
fox in Serbian: Лисица
fox in Swedish: Rävar
fox in Tamil: நரி
fox in Thai: หมาจิ้งจอก
fox in Cherokee: ᏧᎳ
fox in Turkish: Tilki
fox in Walloon: Rinåd
fox in Chinese: 狐狸

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

African hunting dog, Artful Dodger, Cape hunting dog, Philadelphia lawyer, Yankee horse trader, brush wolf, charmer, coyote, crafty rascal, dingo, dodger, glib tongue, horse trader, hyena, jackal, lobo, medicine wolf, prairie wolf, reynard, shyster, slick citizen, sly dog, slyboots, sweet talker, swindler, timber wolf, trickster, wolf
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