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ape

[eyp] /eɪp/
noun
1.
any of a group of anthropoid primates characterized by long arms, a broad chest, and the absence of a tail, comprising the family Pongidae (great ape) which includes the chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan, and the family Hylobatidae (lesser ape) which includes the gibbon and siamang.
2.
(loosely) any primate except humans.
3.
an imitator; mimic.
4.
Informal. a big, ugly, clumsy person.
verb (used with object), aped, aping.
5.
to imitate; mimic:
to ape another's style of writing.
Idioms
6.
go ape, Slang. to become violently emotional:
When she threatened to leave him, he went ape.
7.
go ape over, Slang. to be extremely enthusiastic about:
They go ape over old rock music.
Origin of ape
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English apa; cognate with Old Saxon apo, Old Norse api, Old High German affo (German Affe)
Related forms
apelike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for apelike
Historical Examples
  • The apelike Pascual, his face a study in curiosity, drew alongside.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • Suspicion growing in his glance, the apelike one continued to eye him.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • He went expertly, swinging from car to car with apelike clumsiness—and surety.

    Gunman's Reckoning Max Brand
  • Gazing into the darkness, she knew that her stare was apelike.

    Hilda Lessways Arnold Bennett
  • The big, apelike thug who was holding the shotgun had a chance to pull the trigger once more, but he wasn't aiming very well.

    That Sweet Little Old Lady Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA Mark Phillips)
  • He found the apelike bodyguard stretched out on a bunk, a vacant smile on his face.

    Police Your Planet Lester del Rey
  • On the second table lay a twisted, distorted thing, an apelike body with which fate had played grotesque pranks.

    The Passing of Ku Sui Anthony Gilmore
  • By the strong amber light of the sun flare Nelson had a vision of the last two warriors swinging in apelike agility to the ground.

  • The apelike Pascual grumbled, but loyally he followed his arrogant and imperious camarada.

    The Wolf Cub Patrick Casey
  • Here the watchers saw a glistening back; again, an out-thrust leg, small and crooked, apelike and repulsive.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
British Dictionary definitions for apelike

ape

/eɪp/
noun
1.
any of various primates, esp those of the family Pongidae, in which the tail is very short or absent See anthropoid ape See also great ape
2.
(not in technical use) any monkey
3.
an imitator; mimic
4.
(US, informal) a coarse, clumsy, or rude person
verb
5.
(transitive) to imitate
Derived Forms
apelike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English apa; related to Old Saxon ape, Old Norse api, Old High German affo
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for apelike

ape

n.

Old English apa "ape, monkey," from Proto-Germanic *apan (cf. Old Saxon apo, Old Norse api, Dutch aap, German affe), perhaps borrowed in Proto-Germanic from Celtic (cf. Old Irish apa) or Slavic (cf. Old Bohemian op, Slovak opitza), perhaps ultimately from a non-Indo-European language.

Apes were noted in medieval times for mimicry of human action, hence, perhaps, the other figurative use of the word, to mean "a fool." To go ape (in emphatic form, go apeshit) "go crazy" is 1955, U.S. slang. To lead apes in hell (1570s) was the fancied fate of one who died an old maid.

ape

v.

"to imitate," 1630s, but the notion is implied earlier, e.g. to play the ape (1570s), Middle English apeshipe "ape-like behavior, simulation" (mid-15c.); and the noun sense of "one who mimics" may date from early 13c. Related: Aped; aping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for apelike

ape

adjective

  1. (also ape-shit) Stupid and destructive; irrational; berserk: You acted like you were ape, pounding the wall
  2. (also ape-shit) Very enthusiastic; highly excited; bananas: He's ape about my new car

noun

  1. A black person
  2. The best or greatest; the ultimate: Her paintings are truly ape (Beat talk & rock and roll)
  3. An especially strong and pugnacious hoodlum; a strong-arm man or muscle man; goon, gorilla

Related Terms

go ape, house ape, rug rat

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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13
15
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