[ sim-ee-uh n ]
/ ˈsɪm i ən /


of or relating to an ape or monkey.
characteristic of apes or monkeys: long, simian fingers.


an ape or monkey.

Origin of simian

1600–10; < Latin sīmi(a) an ape (probably derivative of sīmus flat-nosed < Greek sīmós) + -an
Related formssim·i·an·i·ty [sim-ee-an-i-tee] /ˌsɪm iˈæn ɪ ti/, nounsub·sim·i·an, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for simian

British Dictionary definitions for simian


/ (ˈsɪmɪən) /


of, relating to, or resembling a monkey or apeAlso (rare): simious (ˈsɪmɪəs)


a monkey or ape

Word Origin for simian

C17: from Latin sīmia an ape, probably from sīmus flat-nosed, from Greek sīmos
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 simian



"characteristic of monkeys or apes," c.1600, from Latin simia "ape," from simus "snub-nosed," from Greek simos "snub-nosed" (like the Scythians), also a masculine proper name, of unknown origin. Biological meaning "pertaining to monkeys" is from 1863. The noun meaning "an ape or monkey" first is attested in 1880.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for simian


[ sĭmē-ən ]


Resembling or characteristic of apes or monkeys.


An ape or monkey. Ther term simian is no longer used in scientific contexts. Compare prosimian.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.