[ree-suh s]


a macaque, Macaca mulatta, of India, used in experimental medicine.

Origin of rhesus

1830–40; < New Latin, arbitrary use of Latin Rhēsus name of a Thracian king allied with Troy < Greek Rhêsos
Related formsrhe·sian [ree-shuh n] /ˈri ʃən/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rhesus

Historical Examples of rhesus

  • A hamster, for example, cannot choose to behave in the manner of a rhesus monkey.

    Anything You Can Do ...

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • A hamster, for instance, cannot choose to behave in the manner of a Rhesus monkey.

    Anything You Can Do

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • One, the work of the American, Kinnaman, on two Rhesus monkeys.

    Clever Hans

    Oskar Pfungst

  • The sound uttered by the Rhesus, as nearly as I can represent it by letters, is "nqu-u-w."

  • Now the conjunction of these two plays with the Rhesus is significant.

British Dictionary definitions for rhesus



Greek myth a king of Thrace, who arrived in the tenth year of the Trojan War to aid Troy. Odysseus and Diomedes stole his horses because an oracle had said that if these horses drank from the River Xanthus, Troy would not fall
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 rhesus

1827, from Modern Latin genus name of a type of East Indian monkey (1799), given by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Audebert (1759-1800), said to be an arbitrary use of Latin Rhesus, name of a legendary prince of Thrace, from Greek Rhesos.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper