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  1. belonging or pertaining to the group Catarrhini, comprising humans, anthropoid apes, and Old World monkeys, having the nostrils close together and opening downward and a nonprehensile, often greatly reduced or vestigial tail.
  1. a catarrhine animal.
Also cat·ar·rhin·i·an [kat-uh-rin-ee-uh n] /ˌkæt əˈrɪn i ən/.

Origin of catarrhine

1860–65; < New Latin Catarrhini, plural of catarrhinus < Greek katarrhīn hook-nosed, equivalent to kata- cata- + -rhīn -nosed, adj. derivative of rhī́s nose, snout
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for catarrhine

Historical Examples

  • Man is descended directly from one series of extinct Catarrhine ancestors.

    The Last Link

    Ernst Haeckel

  • Catarrhine monkeys have existed, we know with certainty, since the Miocene.

    The Last Link

    Ernst Haeckel

  • As they belong to the Catarrhine group, their nose has a narrow partition between the nostrils, which are directed downwards.

  • The platyrrhine and catarrhine monkeys have their primitive ancestor among extinct forms of the Lemuridae.

British Dictionary definitions for catarrhine


  1. (of apes and Old World monkeys) having the nostrils set close together and opening to the front of the face
  2. Also: leptorrhine (of humans) having a thin or narrow nose
  1. an animal or person with this characteristic
Compare platyrrhine

Word Origin

C19: from New Latin Catarrhina (for sense 1), all ultimately from Greek katarrhin having a hooked nose, from kata- down + rhis nose
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