- 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 aped
Her backwoods twang sharpened as she aped some contemporary witch.Vigorish
Gordon Randall Garrett
Again, it was Sadie who was first to retort, which she did with a manner that aped his own insolence.Making People Happy
He was sorry for the poor little maid who had aped the ways of the grown-up.The Children of Wilton Chase
Mrs. L. T. Meade
He was Italian to the core, for all that he aped the English style and manner.The Place of Honeymoons
Yes; and found it the biggest humbug that ever aped Gods grass.Cradock Nowell, Vol. 1 (of 3)
Richard Doddridge Blackmore
- (tr) to imitate
Word Origin and History for aped
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.