ape

[ eyp ]
/ eɪp /

noun

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.

verb (used with object), aped, ap·ing.

to imitate; mimic: to ape another's style of writing.

Idioms

    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

before 900; Middle English; Old English apa; cognate with Old Saxon apo, Old Norse api, Old High German affo (German Affe)

Related forms

ape·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for go ape

ape

/ (eɪp) /

noun

any of various primates, esp those of the family Pongidae, in which the tail is very short or absentSee anthropoid ape See also great ape
(not in technical use) any monkey
an imitator; mimic
US informal a coarse, clumsy, or rude person

verb

(tr) to imitate

Derived Forms

apelike, adjective

Word Origin for ape

Old English apa; related to Old Saxon ape, Old Norse api, Old High German affo
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

Idioms and Phrases with go ape

go ape


Become wildly excited or enthusiastic. For example, The audience went ape over the band. This idiom is a modern version of the older go berserk. It fancifully equates frenzy with an ape's behavior. [Second half of 1900s] Also see go bananas.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.