[chim-pan-zee, chim-pan-zee]


a large, somewhat arboreal anthropoid ape, Pan troglodytes, of equatorial Africa, having a brown-to-black coat, a relatively hairless face with a rounded muzzle, prominent ears, and hands adapted for knuckle-walking, noted for its intelligence and humanlike behavior: now greatly reduced in number and threatened with extinction in the wild.

Origin of chimpanzee

First recorded in 1730–40; presumably < a Bantu language of the Atlantic coast Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for chimpanzee

Contemporary Examples of chimpanzee

  • As a friend once told me, “A chimpanzee could have made money in L.A. real estate—and many did.”

  • The author of Guns, Germs, and Steel is out with an adaptation for young people of The Third Chimpanzee.

  • Tell me about your earliest personal interaction with a chimpanzee.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How I Write: Jane Goodall

    Noah Charney

    April 9, 2014

  • On Wednesday, the collection of pictures by Mikki (pictured above), a chimpanzee, reeled in roughly $75,000 at Sotheby's.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Monkey Business

    William O’Connor

    June 6, 2013

  • He clung to me like a chimpanzee baby with all four of his weakened limbs.

    The Daily Beast logo
    RIP Cobber

    David Frum

    October 1, 2012

Historical Examples of chimpanzee

British Dictionary definitions for chimpanzee



a gregarious and intelligent anthropoid ape, Pan troglodytes, inhabiting forests in central W Africa

Word Origin for chimpanzee

C18: from Kongo dialect
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

Word Origin and History for chimpanzee

1738, from a Bantu language of Angola (cf. Tshiluba kivili-chimpenze "ape"). Short form chimp first attested 1877.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper