Definition of simian in English:


Line breaks: sim¦ian
Pronunciation: /ˈsɪmɪən


  • 1Relating to or affecting apes or monkeys: simian immunodeficiency virus Compare with prosimian.
    More example sentences
    • Researchers have identified simian immunodeficiency virus in wild apes for the first time.
    • The simian immunodeficiency virus destabilizes lamellar and promotes hexagonal phase, leading to the speculation that it has an effective negative intrinsic curvature.
    • Both vaccines were designed against SHIV, a virus containing components of HIV and the related monkey virus, simian immunodeficiency virus.
  • 1.1 derogatory Resembling a monkey: his simian features
    More example sentences
    • Apparently, a simian line is a feature in palmistry that he displays.
    • Carlos is up next, and seems to rather frighten James and his simian features somewhat by being chatty before his performance.
    • ‘Water, big!’ said the ape-man, a reverence extending across his human-simian features.


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  • An ape or monkey.
    More example sentences
    • We call these creatures Pro simians (meaning before the simians or apes).
    • In this age of growing animal-empowerment, do you think monkeys and other simians should be allowed to drink, if they so desire?
    • Actors playing the simians choreograph ape-like movements with ease.


early 17th century: from Latin simia 'ape', perhaps via Latin from Greek simos 'flat-nosed'.

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