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Ox vs. Buffalo: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sumera Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Updated on October 7, 2023
An Ox is a domesticated bovine, often a castrated male, used for labor, while a Buffalo is a wild or domesticated species of large herbivorous mammals native to various regions.

Key Differences

Both Ox and Buffalo belong to the bovine family, but their roles and significance in human civilization vary. The term Ox specifically refers to a domesticated bovine, often a castrated male, which is trained to perform tasks like plowing or pulling loads. Buffalo, on the other hand, encompasses several species of large herbivorous mammals found in various parts of the world, including the African buffalo and the water buffalo.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023
An Ox is typically characterized by its docility, stemming from domestication, and its role in aiding labor. Buffalo are wild by nature, although certain species like the water Buffalo can also be domesticated for similar purposes, or for their milk and meat.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023
The physical appearance of an Ox and a Buffalo is distinct. Oxen are often breeds of cattle that have been repurposed for labor, so their appearance aligns with common cattle. Buffalo, depending on the species, can have large horns, distinctive humps, and a robust build, setting them apart from common cattle and oxen.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023
Geographically, while Ox is a term used globally for working bovines, the term Buffalo has regional implications. In North America, for instance, "buffalo" often refers to bison, even though bison are technically not true buffalo.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 07, 2023
The relationship between humans and these animals is rooted in ancient practices. Oxen have been utilized for labor for millennia, symbolizing strength and endurance in many cultures. Buffalo, with their wild nature, have been hunted, revered, and domesticated in different parts of the world, playing a multifaceted role in human history.
Sara Rehman
Oct 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Domesticated bovine used for labor.
Large herbivorous mammal, wild or domesticated.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Domestication

Always domesticated.
Can be wild or domesticated.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Appearance

Similar to common cattle.
Large horns, humps, and robust build.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Geographic Reference

Global term.
Varies; in North America can refer to bison.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Relationship with Humans

Used mainly for labor.
Hunted, revered, domesticated, or used for meat/milk.
Harlon Moss
Oct 07, 2023
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Ox and Buffalo Definitions

Ox

A domesticated bovine used primarily for labor.
The farmer relied on the Ox to plow his fields.
Harlon Moss
Oct 07, 2023

Buffalo

In North America, sometimes refers to bison inaccurately.
Many mistakenly call the American bison a Buffalo.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Ox

Often a castrated male cattle trained for work.
The Ox pulled the heavy cart effortlessly.
Harlon Moss
Oct 07, 2023

Buffalo

Can refer to species like African buffalo or water buffalo.
The African Buffalo is known for its formidable horns.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 07, 2023

Ox

Typically yoked in pairs for tasks.
The two oxen worked in tandem to move the logs.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Buffalo

Can be domesticated for milk, meat, or labor.
The farmer uses his Buffalo for plowing and for milk.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Ox

Provides meat known as oxen when slaughtered.
In some regions, Ox meat is a delicacy.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 07, 2023

Buffalo

Any of several large African and Asian ruminant mammals of the family Bovidae, such as the water buffalo and the African buffalo.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

Represents endurance and strength in many cultures.
The statue depicted an Ox, symbolizing perseverance.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Buffalo

The American bison (Bison bison).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

An adult castrated bull of the genus Bos, especially B. taurus, used chiefly as a draft animal.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

The flesh of the American bison, used as food.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

A bovine mammal, especially one that has been domesticated.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Any of several North American suckers of the genus Ictiobus, having a dark body and an arched back. Also called buffalo fish.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

An adult castrated male of cattle (B. taurus), especially when used as a beast of burden.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

To intimidate or frighten, as by a display of authority
“The board couldn't buffalo the federal courts as it had the Comptroller” (American Banker).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

Any bovine animal (genus Bos). A neat, a beef.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

To confuse or deceive
“Too often ... job seekers have buffaloed lenders as to their competency and training” (H. Jane Lehman).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

Abbreviation of oxygen
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Any of the Old World mammals of the family Bovidae, such as the Cape buffalo, Syncerus caffer, or the water buffalo Bubalus bubalis.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

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.
All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A related North American animal, the American bison, Bison bison.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

An adult castrated bull of the genus Bos; especially Bos taurus
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Ellipsis of buffalo robe
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Ox

Any of various wild bovines especially of the genera Bos or closely related Bibos
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

The buffalo fish (Ictiobus spp.).
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A nickel.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

(transitive) To hunt buffalo.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

To outwit, confuse, deceive, or intimidate.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

To pistol-whip.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A species of the genus Bos or Bubalus (Bubalus bubalus), originally from India, but now found in most of the warmer countries of the eastern continent. It is larger and less docile than the common ox, and is fond of marshy places and rivers.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A very large and savage species of the same genus (Syncerus Caffer syn. Bubalus Caffer) found in South Africa; - called also Cape buffalo.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Any species of wild ox.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

The bison of North America.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A buffalo robe. See Buffalo robe, below.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

The buffalo fish. See Buffalofish, below.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Large shaggy-haired brown bison of North American plains
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A city on Lake Erie in western New York (near Niagara Falls)
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Meat from an American bison
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Any of several Old World animals resembling oxen including, e.g., water buffalo; Cape buffalo
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

Intimidate or overawe
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 27, 2022

Buffalo

A large herbivorous mammal, either wild or domesticated.
The water Buffalo grazed peacefully by the river.
Sara Rehman
Oct 07, 2023

Buffalo

Has cultural and spiritual significance in various societies.
The Buffalo holds a sacred place in Native American traditions.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

FAQs

What is an Ox?

An Ox is a domesticated bovine, often used for labor.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Can Buffalo be domesticated like oxen?

Yes, certain species like the water Buffalo can be domesticated.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Is a bison a type of Buffalo?

No, while in North America bison are colloquially called "buffalo," they are technically not true buffalo.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Why are oxen often used for labor?

Due to their strength, endurance, and docility from domestication.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Which is larger, an Ox or a Buffalo?

Size can vary, but generally, buffalo, especially wild species, are larger.
Janet White
Oct 07, 2023

Is a Buffalo the same as an Ox?

No, a Buffalo is a large herbivorous mammal, while an Ox is a domesticated bovine.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Do both Ox and Buffalo have horns?

Yes, but the size and shape of horns can vary widely between species and individual animals.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Where can you find Buffalo in the wild?

Depending on the species, buffalo can be found in Africa, Asia, and North America.
Janet White
Oct 07, 2023

Are oxen always castrated males?

Often, but not always. The term can refer to both males and females used for labor.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023

Why do people refer to bison as buffalo in North America?

It's a historical misnomer that has persisted over time.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 07, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.

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