Definition of brachiate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrākēˌāt/ Pronunciation: /ˈbrak-/
[no object]
(Of certain apes) move by using the arms to swing from branch to branch: the gibbons brachiate energetically across their enclosure
More example sentences
  • Here we see the elusive and shy marsh gibbon, brachiating through the sphagnum swamps.
  • For the gibbon, the only truly arm-swinging primate, the arms are long and flexible, and the legs, short and reduced - basically to get them out of the way as the owner brachiates through the trees.
  • Humans are descended from apes, brachiating creatures who are at home hanging from branches.


Pronunciation: /ˈbrākēāt/ Pronunciation: /ˈbrākēət/
1Branched, especially having widely spread paired branches on alternate sides.
Example sentences
  • Isidia are extensions of the surface of the thallus and may be cylindrical, globular, brachiate (branched) or lobula (lobe-like).
  • Maple trees are brachiate.
1.1Having arms.
Example sentences
  • It is a discussion of the classification and relations of the brachiate crinoids.
  • Others have maintained that the earliest brachiate echinoderms had only three arms.



Pronunciation: /ˌbrākēˈāSHən/ Pronunciation: /ˌbrak-/
Example sentences
  • An ape is defined by the ability to move through the trees swinging arm over arm in a form of locomotion called brachiation.
  • In primate species in which brachiation is fully developed, a primate can move through the trees faster than a human can walk on the ground.
  • Brachiation is not only an effective form of locomotion, and it also allows the gibbons to reach and harvest every fruit of a branch.


Pronunciation: /-ˌātər/
Example sentences
  • Brace and Montagu are firmly convinced that man evolved from a true brachiator; hence he is a "made-over ape."
  • There is a growing school of thought that the last common ancestor of humans and chimps was a brachiator and not a knuckle-walker.
  • The black gibbon is a true brachiator which means it moves by suspensory behavior.


Mid 18th century (originally in the sense 'having paired branches'): from Latin brachium 'arm' + -ate2.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bra·chi·ate

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