Definition of ape in English:

ape

Line breaks: ape
Pronunciation: /eɪp
 
/

noun

1A large primate that lacks a tail, including the gorilla, chimpanzees, orang-utan, and gibbons.
  • Families Pongidae and Hylobatidae
More example sentences
  • Mother apes - chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, humans - dote on their babies.
  • In fact, Huxley argued, a human differs much less from an ape, such as a chimpanzee or gorilla, than an ape does from a baboon.
  • Displays of deep caring and empathy across the generations are common in gorillas, and in the other African apes (chimpanzees and bonobos) as well.
Synonyms
1.1Used in names of macaque monkeys with short tails, e.g. Barbary ape.
More example sentences
  • There are UK warships at harbour here, and off duty squaddies roaring around the streets on mopeds, but what we really came to see is apes, Barbary Apes.
  • Barbary apes live in Morocco and north Algeria.
  • The Celebes Crested Macaque (Macaca nigra) is also known as the Crested Black Macaque, Sulawesi Crested Macaque, or the Black 'Ape'.
1.2(In general use) any monkey.
More example sentences
  • ‘There was talk of computer generated apes,’ he reports.
  • Generally all the apes are endangered and vulnerable.
  • You seem to be wary of anthropomorphising apes.
2An unintelligent or clumsy person.
More example sentences
  • The million or so who voted for the party last year aren't all knuckle-dragging racist apes.
  • If so why is she drooling over this ape of a man who is so Neanderthal, he can't string more than two words together.
  • Comparing primates to humans makes apes of us all.
3 archaic An inferior imitator or mimic: cunning is but the ape of wisdom
More example sentences
  • It is not God, but the Ape of God that speaks here.
  • If unskilfully and casually treated, it will be but the ape of nature.
  • Prejudice, according to such an account of it, is the ape of reason

verb

[with object] (apes, aping, aped) Back to top  
Imitate (someone or something), especially in an absurd or unthinking way: new architecture can respect the old without aping its style
More example sentences
  • Startled women tend to mimic those around them, aping relatives or imitating things they see on TV.
  • But the Birmingham group is not just aping the capital; it has identified its own priorities, based on interviews with 3,000 people.
  • Becoming less self-obsessed, learning from failures and aping successful people's body language works as well in the boardroom as the singles bar.
Synonyms
imitate, mimic, copy, do an impression of, echo, parrot; take off, mock, parody, caricature
informal send up
archaic monkey

Origin

Old English apa, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch aap and German Affe.

Phrases

go ape (or vulgar slang , chiefly North American apeshit)

informal Become very angry or excited: your kids will go ape over these frozen pops! Ricky would go apeshit if anything happened to Wayne
More example sentences
  • The slobs who frequent this place would go apeshit over a beauty like you.
  • I jiggle up and down as best I can, as the seething crowd below me goes apeshit.
  • The legal group and the protestors then burst into shouts and started going apeshit.

Derivatives

apelike

adjective
More example sentences
  • We now know that Neanderthals were not ape-like.
  • The early humanoids traditionally characterised as ape-like brutes were deeply emotional beings with high-pitched voices.
  • It reminds of an incident when my normally ape-like father revealed a hitherto unforeseen wit while we were in America.

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