[ pith-i-kan-thruh-puh s, -kuh n-throh-puh s ]
/ ˌpɪθ ɪˈkæn θrə pəs, -kənˈθroʊ pəs /


a former genus of extinct hominids whose members have now been assigned to the proposed species Homo erectus.

Origin of Pithecanthropus

< New Latin (1891) < Greek píthēk(os) ape + ánthrōpos man

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Examples from the Web for pithecanthropus

British Dictionary definitions for pithecanthropus


/ (ˌpɪθɪkænˈθrəʊpəs, -ˈkænθrə-) /

noun plural -pi (-ˌpaɪ)

any primitive apelike man of the former genus Pithecanthropus, now included in the genus HomoSee Java man, Peking man
Derived Formspithecanthropine or pithecanthropoid, adjective

Word Origin for pithecanthropus

C19: New Latin, from Greek pithēkos ape + anthrōpos man

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

Word Origin and History for pithecanthropus



genus of extinct primates, 1895, from Modern Latin, literally "monkey-man," from Greek pithekos "ape" + anthropos "man" (see anthropo-). Coined 1868 by Haeckel as a name for a hypothetical link between apes and men (attested in English in this sense from 1876); applied by Dr. Eugène Dubois (1858-1940), physician of the Dutch army in Java, to remains he found there in 1891.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for pithecanthropus


[ pĭth′ĭ-kănthrə-pəs, -kăn-thrōpəs ]

An extinct hominid postulated from bones found in Java in 1891 and originally designated Pithecanthropus erectus because it was thought to represent a species evolutionarily between apes and humans. Pithecanthropus is now classified as Homo erectus. Also called Java man See more at Homo erectus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.