any of several apes of the family Pongidae, characterized by a relatively hairless face with protrusive lips and by hands with complex fingerprints and flat nails, including the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan.
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Origin of great ape
First recorded in 1945–50
Words nearby great ape
Definition for great ape (2 of 2)
[ eyp ]
/ eɪp /
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.
Origin of ape
before 900; Middle English; Old English apa; cognate with Old Saxon apo, Old Norse api, Old High German affo (German Affe)
OTHER WORDS FROM apeape·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for great ape (1 of 2)
/ (eɪp) /
(tr) to imitate
Derived forms of apeapelike, adjective
Word Origin for ape
Old English apa; related to Old Saxon ape, Old Norse api, Old High German affo
British Dictionary definitions for great ape (2 of 2)
any of the larger anthropoid apes, such as the chimpanzee, orang-utan, or gorilla
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
Scientific definitions for great ape
[ grāt ]
See anthropoid ape.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.