Definition of Neanderthal in English:

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Pronunciation: /nēˈandərTHôl/


(also Neanderthal man)
1An extinct species of human that was widely distributed in ice-age Europe between circa 120,000–35,000 years ago, with a receding forehead and prominent brow ridges. The Neanderthals were associated with the Mousterian flint industry of the Middle Paleolithic.
  • Homo neanderthalensis; now usually regarded as a separate species from H. sapiens and probably at the end of a different evolutionary line.
Example sentences
  • Eventually we dominated and may have caused the extinction of another earlier human species, the Neanderthals.
  • In my view, modern humans evolved in situ from Neanderthals in Europe, as they did from robust forms elsewhere.
  • Modern humans probably exterminated the world's other archaic humans, the Neanderthals in Europe.
1.1An uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth person, especially a man: the stereotype of the mechanic as a macho Neanderthal
More example sentences
  • Proposed Slogan: ‘We Don't Think All you Religious Neanderthals are Credulous Bumpkins!
  • Maybe I should go back and apologize to the meathead nitwit Neanderthal!
  • Would the knuckle dragging, brain dead, Neanderthal who removed the hanging basket from the exterior of Rock House please return it.


1Relating to Neanderthal man.
Example sentences
  • Researchers at York University have made it possible for an international team to extract and sequence protein from a 75,000-year-old Neanderthal fossil discovered in Shanidar Cave in Iraq.
  • A digger uncovered what could be Britain's best-preserved Neanderthal butchery site, which included the remains of mammoths and other ancient beasts as well as hand axes used by early humans.
  • The Neanderthal specimen, known as Mezmaiskaya Child, that Goodwin used to prove the existence of the missing link was around 29,000 years old and came from the northern caucuses.
1.1(Especially of a man) uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth: your attitude to women is Neanderthal
More example sentences
  • I just don't want to be one of those Neanderthal guys who just knock women over the head and drag them back to their caves, as it were.
  • I will not allow myself to think like my Neanderthal father.
  • It feels like a modern Spanish tapas bar in buzzing Barcelona, except for the Neanderthal males, of course.


Mid 19th century: from Neanderthal , the name of a region in Germany (now Neandertal) where remains of Neanderthal man were found.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Ne·an·der·thal

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