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a large, black European wild ox, Bos primigenius: extinct since 1627.
(not used scientifically) the European bison.
Contemporary Examples

A terrible storm melts the polar ice caps, unleashing a group of prehistoric creatures called aurochs.
The Daily Beast’s Oscar Nominees: Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway & More Marlow Stern January 3, 2013

Historical Examples

All the domestic oxen without hunches have proceeded originally from the aurochs, and those with the hunch from the bison.
Buffon’s Natural History. Volume VIII (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

That the aurochs is ten feet three inches from nose to tail.
Delineations of the Ox Tribe George Vasey

The king looked and there lay the oak, fallen at full length, and the aurochs lay lifeless beside it.
Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks William Elliot Griffis

The aurochs are still to be met with in some provinces of the north.
Buffon’s Natural History. Volume VIII (of 10) Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon

But our domestic cattle are derived from some form of aurochs—probably from some lesser Central Asiatic variety.
The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind Herbert George Wells

Neither a tree nor an aurochs can forget your kindness to us, when you were a prince.
Dutch Fairy Tales for Young Folks William Elliot Griffis

The camel was affected with rickets and the aurochs had multiple exostoses or bony tumors.
The Uttermost Farthing R. Austin Freeman

There has been found one other contemporary portrait of man, where a hunter is shown stalking an aurochs.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 2 Various

In size, the American buffalo competes with the European species (Bos aurochs), now nearly extinct.
The Hunters’ Feast Mayne Reid

noun (pl) -rochs
a recently extinct member of the cattle tribe, Bos primigenius, that inhabited forests in N Africa, Europe, and SW Asia. It had long horns and is thought to be one of the ancestors of modern cattle Also called urus

1766, misapplication to the European bison (Bos bison) of a word that actually refers to a species of wild ox (Bos ursus) that went extinct 17c., from German Aurochs, from Old High German urohso, from uro “aurochs” (cognate with Old English ur, Old Norse ürr), of unknown origin, + ohso “ox” (see ox). Latin urus and Greek ouros are Germanic loan-words.


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