• synonyms

spider monkey

  1. any of several tropical American monkeys of the genus Ateles, having a slender body, long, slender limbs, and a long, prehensile tail: some are endangered.
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Origin of spider monkey

First recorded in 1755–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spider monkey

Historical Examples of spider monkey

  • The tip of its tail, strange to say, is prehensile, just like that of a spider-monkey.

    The Animal World, A Book of Natural History

    Theodore Wood

  • This species is the only Spider-Monkey certainly known to range as far north as Mexico.

  • When a spider-monkey is shot as it sits in a tree, it always coils its tail round a branch at once.

  • Though there were some dissentient voices, the majority were in favour of the spider-monkey.

    The Three Lieutenants

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • To a howler, or spider-monkey, its long tail is a swing and a trapeze in its forest gymnasium.

    Concerning Animals and Other Matters

    E.H. Aitken, (AKA Edward Hamilton)

British Dictionary definitions for spider monkey

spider monkey

  1. any of several arboreal New World monkeys of the genus Ateles, of Central and South America, having very long legs, a long prehensile tail, and a small head
  2. woolly spider monkey a rare related monkey, Brachyteles arachnoides, of SE Brazil
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Word Origin for spider monkey

C18: so called because its long limbs resemble the legs of a spider
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