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Homo erectus

[ hoh-moh i-rek-tuhs ]
/ ˈhoʊ moʊ ɪˈrɛk təs /
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noun
the proposed extinct species of the human lineage that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene Epoch formerly known as Pithecanthropus erectus, having upright stature and a well-evolved postcranial skeleton, but with a smallish brain, low forehead, and protruding face: the first fossil specimen was discovered in Indonesia in 1891.
a fossil belonging to this species.

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Origin of Homo erectus

First recorded in 1970–75; from New Latin: literally “upright man”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use Homo erectus in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Homo erectus

Homo erectus
/ (ɪˈrɛktəs) /

noun
an extinct species of primitive man, able to walk uprightSee also Java man, Peking man

Word Origin for Homo erectus

New Latin, from Latin homo man + erectus upright
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 Homo erectus

Homo erectus
[ hōmō ĭ-rĕktəs ]

An extinct species of humans that lived during the Pleistocene Epoch from about 1.6 million years ago to 250,000 years ago. Homo erectus is associated mainly with stone tools of the Acheulian culture and was the first species of humans to master fire, although this skill may not have been widely practiced until late in its existence. Its remains have been found in Africa, Europe, and Asia, and it is widely thought to be the direct ancestor of modern humans.♦ The H. erectus remains from Africa are thought by some to evince significant differences in comparison to other H. erectus populations and thus to constitute a separate species called Homo ergaster. H. ergaster is sometimes further claimed to be the true ancestor of modern humans. The fossil evidence is not complete enough to definitively support these or many other claims concerning early Homo populations. See also pithecanthropus sinanthropus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for Homo erectus

Homo erectus
[ (hoh-moh i-rek-tuhs) ]

An early ancestor of the human species that lived from about 1.8 million to 250,000 years ago. Homo erectus remains have been found in Africa, China, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Archaeological excavations have revealed that Homo erectus developed a cooperative hunting organization and the use of fire and may have had a spoken language.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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