• synonyms


noun, plural ape-men.
  1. a hypothetical primate representing a transitional form between true humans and the anthropoid apes, considered by some as constituting the genus Australopithecus.
  2. a human assumed to have been reared by apes.
Show More

Origin of ape-man

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ape-man

Historical Examples

  • The skull of the "born criminal" is the skull of the ape-man, or the cave-man.

    Not Guilty

    Robert Blatchford

  • When it stopped at the ape-man's cage Sherman watched the procedure closely.

  • The ape-man promptly thrust his finger into the first of the holes.

  • The ape-man, looking at him with something like panic, beckoned him forward again.

  • The ape-man moved toward Marta and Sherman like a being in a dream.

Word Origin and History for ape-man


hypothetical "missing link," 1879, in a translation of Haeckel, from ape (n.) + man (n.). Man-ape is attested from 1878. The name Martin Halfape appears in an English roll from 1227.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper