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[sim-ee-uh n] /ˈsɪm i ən/
of or relating to an ape or monkey.
characteristic of apes or monkeys:
long, simian fingers.
an ape or monkey.
Origin of simian
1600-10; < Latin sīmi(a) an ape (probably derivative of sīmus flat-nosed < Greek sīmós) + -an
Related forms
[sim-ee-an-i-tee] /ˌsɪm iˈæn ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
subsimian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for simian
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Harvard hellions (it is his own term) were indefatigable, simian, pitiless.

    Gigolo Edna Ferber
  • But the curiosity of a simian is as excessive as the toil of an ant.

    This Simian World Clarence Day
  • They will use up a lot of it in a simian habit3 called travel.

    This Simian World Clarence Day
  • The simian submits with odd readiness to the loss of this privilege.

    This Simian World Clarence Day
  • Whatever a simian does, there must always be some talking about it.

    This Simian World Clarence Day
  • Consider the simian amorousness of Jupiter, and the brawls on Olympus.

    This Simian World Clarence Day
  • You might as well speak of the human language as the simian language.

    A House-Boat on the Styx John Kendrick Bangs
  • The doctor was indignant when he found that his patient was of the simian persuasion.

  • With a wail of anguish the simian clutched at the precious object.

    The Onslaught from Rigel Fletcher Pratt
British Dictionary definitions for simian


of, relating to, or resembling a monkey or ape Also (rare) simious (ˈsɪmɪəs)
a monkey or ape
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sīmia an ape, probably from sīmus flat-nosed, from Greek sīmos
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 simian

"characteristic of monkeys or apes," c.1600, from Latin simia "ape," from simus "snub-nosed," from Greek simos "snub-nosed" (like the Scythians), also a masculine proper name, of unknown origin. Biological meaning "pertaining to monkeys" is from 1863. The noun meaning "an ape or monkey" first is attested in 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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simian in Science
Adjective  Resembling or characteristic of apes or monkeys.

Noun  An ape or monkey. Ther term simian is no longer used in scientific contexts. Compare prosimian.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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