[ aw-rang-oo-tan, oh-rang-, uh-rang- ]
See synonyms for orangutan on Thesaurus.com
  1. either of two species of long-armed, arboreal great ape, the only extant members of the subfamily Ponginae, inhabiting Borneo (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatra (P. abelii): both species, including all three of the Bornean subspecies, are endangered.

Origin of orangutan

First recorded in 1690–1700; from Dutch orang outang, apparently from Malay: literally, “forest man” (Malay orang “man, person” + (h)utan “forest”
  • Also called o·rang [aw-rang, oh-rang] /ɔˈræŋ, oʊˈræŋ/ .
  • Also o·rang-u·tan; o·rang·u·tang or o·rang-ou·tang [aw-rang-oo-tang, oh-rang-, uh-rang-] /ɔˈræŋ ʊˌtæŋ, oʊˈræŋ-, əˈræŋ-/ .

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use orangutan in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for orang-utan


orang-utang (ɔːˌræŋuːˈtæŋ, ˌɔːræŋˈuːtæŋ)

/ (ɔːˌræŋuːˈtæn, ˌɔːræŋˈuːtæn) /

  1. a large anthropoid ape, Pongo pygmaeus, of the forests of Sumatra and Borneo, with shaggy reddish-brown hair and strong arms: Sometimes shortened to: orang

Origin of orang-utan

C17: from Malay orang hutan, from ōrang man + hūtan forest

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