Homo sapiens

[ hoh-moh -sey-pee-uhnz ]
/ ˈhoʊ moʊ ˈseɪ pi ənz /

noun

the species of bipedal primates to which modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) belong, characterized by a large brain, a nearly vertical forehead, a skeletal build lighter and teeth smaller than earlier humans, and dependence upon language and the creation and utilization of complex tools: the species has existed for about 200,000 years.See also Boskop man, Cro-Magnon, Marmes man, Niah Cave.

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Origin of Homo sapiens

First recorded in 1770–75; from New Latin: literally, “rational man”; see origin at Homo, sapient
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens
/ (ˈsæpɪˌɛnz) /

noun

the specific name of modern man; the only extant species of the genus Homo. This species also includes extinct types of primitive man such as Cro-Magnon manSee also man (def. 5)

Word Origin for Homo sapiens

New Latin, from Latin homo man + sapiens wise
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 sapiens

Homo sapiens
[ sāpē-ənz ]

The modern species of humans. Archaic forms of Homo sapiens probably evolved around 300,000 years ago or earlier in Africa, and anatomically modern fossils are known from about 100,000 years ago. All humans now living belong to the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens. The closest living relative of Homo sapiens is the chimpanzee. See more at archaic Homo sapiens Cro-Magnon Neanderthal.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens
[ (hoh-moh say-pee-uhnz) ]

The biological classification of modern humans. Homo sapiens is Latin for “the wise human” or “the clever human.” The earliest Homo sapiens was Neanderthal, who developed about 150,000 years ago. Sometimes modern humans are further classified into the subspecies of Homo sapiens neanderthalis (Neanderthals) and Homo sapiens sapiens (Cro-Magnons and present-day humans). (See Linnean classification.)

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.