- 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.
- (loosely) any primate except humans.
- an imitator; mimic.
- Informal. a big, ugly, clumsy person.
- to imitate; mimic: to ape another's style of writing.
- go ape, Slang. to become violently emotional: When she threatened to leave him, he went ape.
- go ape over, Slang. to be extremely enthusiastic about: They go ape over old rock music.
Origin of ape
Examples from the Web for aping
His first recordings were a classic case of trying too hard, aping the Bluebird beat.The Stacks: How Leonard Chess Helped Make Muddy Waters
August 2, 2014
President Obama, helping us beat back China by aping China.How China Could Help Obama Win the Budget Battle
April 14, 2011
Put it on, put it on: I don't want you to be aping lady-airs.
I do not offer them to you, because I would not that you thought that I was aping magnanimity.Rattlin the Reefer
She insisted on artists painting their age and not aping the dead past.Fragonard
He knows we're thieves, so what's the use of our aping honest men.In Quest of Gold
Alfred St. Johnston
But it must not be supposed that in this reformation there was any aping of Anglicanism.Norman Macleod
- (tr) to imitate
Word Origin and History for aping
"imitation, mimicry," 1680s, verbal noun from ape (v.).
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.
"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.