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[gib-uh n] /ˈgɪb ən/
any small, slender, long-armed arboreal anthropoid ape of the genus Hylobates, of the East Indies and southern Asia: all gibbon species are reduced in number and some are very rare.
Origin of gibbon
From French, dating back to 1760-70, name of uncertain origin used by Buffon


[gib-uh n] /ˈgɪb ən/
Edward, 1737–94, English historian. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gibbon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • gibbon said of Lady Elizabeth that she was the most alluring of women.

  • She began her daily hour of gibbon after breakfast with great zeal.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope
  • gibbon and Doubleday somehow deployed and seized a portion of the orchard.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • Doubleday and gibbon suffered fearfully, and Ewell and Taliaferro suffered.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • We have only to consider the absurdity of a handy-volume gibbon or a folio Lamb.

    The Booklover and His Books Harry Lyman Koopman
  • gibbon and Mommsen are the great examples to which he points.

    Personality in Literature Rolfe Arnold Scott-James
  • If you want to know how rapidly the Empire went down, ask gibbon.

    The Wedding Ring T. De Witt Talmage
  • gibbon ignored the Virgin, because in 1789 religious monuments were out of fashion.

  • An excellent edition of gibbon was one of the first results.

    Historical and Political Essays

    William Edward Hartpole Lecky
British Dictionary definitions for gibbon


any small agile arboreal anthropoid ape of the genus Hylobates, inhabiting forests in S Asia
Word Origin
C18: from French, probably from an Indian dialect word


Edward. 1737–94, English historian; author of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88), controversial in its historical criticism of Christianity
Lewis Grassic (ˈɡræsɪk), real name James Leslie Mitchell. 1901–35, Scottish writer: best known for his trilogy of novels Scots Quair (1932–34)
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 gibbon

1770, from French gibbon (18c.), supposedly from a word in the French colonies of India but not found in any language there. Brought to Europe by Marquis Joseph-François Dupleix (1697-1763), French governor general in India 1742-54. The surname is Old French Giboin, from Frankish *Geba-win "gift-friend," or in some cases a diminutive of Gibb, itself a familiar form of Gilbert.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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