[ aw-strey-loh-pith-uh-seen, -sahyn, -puh-thee-sin, -sahyn, aw-struh- ]
/ ɔˌstreɪ loʊˈpɪθ əˌsin, -ˌsaɪn, -pəˈθi sɪn, -ˌsaɪn, ˌɔ strə- /


(sometimes initial capital letter) a member of the extinct genus Australopithecus.


of, relating to, or resembling the genus Australopithecus or its members.

Nearby words

  1. australian tiffanie,
  2. australiana,
  3. australianism,
  4. australianize,
  5. australoid,
  6. australopithecus,
  7. australopithecus afarensis,
  8. australopithecus africanus,
  9. australopithecus anamensis,
  10. australopithecus boisei

Origin of australopithecine

First recorded in 1935–40; Australopithec(us) + -ine1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for australopithecine


/ (ˌɒstrələʊˈpɪθɪˌsiːn) /


any of various extinct apelike primates of the genus Australopithecus and related genera, remains of which have been discovered in southern and E Africa. Some species are estimated to be over 4.5 million years oldSee also zinjanthropus


of or relating to any of these primates

Word Origin for australopithecine

C20: from New Latin Australopithecus, from Latin austrālis southern, austral 1 + Greek pithēkos ape

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

Science definitions for australopithecine


[ ô-strā′lō-pĭthĭ-sēn′ ]

Any of several early hominids of the genus Australopithecus of eastern and southern Africa, known from fossils dating from about 4 million to about 1 million years ago. The most complete australopithecine skeleton found so far, named Lucy by its discoverers, is estimated to be just over 3 million years old. While many scientists believe that australopithecines are ancestors of modern humans, not enough fossils have yet been found to establish any direct descent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.