Definition of Neanderthal in English:

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Pronunciation: /nɪˈandətɑːl/


1 (also Neanderthal man) An extinct species of human that was widely distributed in ice-age Europe between circa 120,000 and 35,000 years ago, with a receding forehead and prominent brow ridges. The Neanderthals were associated with the Mousterian flint industry of the Middle Palaeolithic.
  • 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 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 Neanderthals: a Neanderthal axe
More 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(Of a man) uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth: they were pushed back by Neanderthal security guards
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.

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Line breaks: Ne¦an¦der|thal

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