Homo sapiens

Ho·mo sa·pi·ens

noun \ˌhō-(ˌ)mō-ˈsā-pē-ˌenz, -ənz, especially British -ˈsa-pē-ənz\

: the species of human beings that exist today

Full Definition of HOMO SAPIENS

:  humankind

Examples of HOMO SAPIENS

  1. All people are members of Homo sapiens.
  2. <how far into outer reaches of the universe will Homo sapiens someday be able to go?>


New Latin, species name, from Homo, genus name + sapiens, specific epithet, from Latin, wise, intelligent — more at homo, sapient
First Known Use: 1802


Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole

Ho·mo sa·pi·ens

noun \ˌhō-(ˌ)mō-ˈsap-ē-ənz, -ˈsā-pē-, -ˌenz\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of HOMO SAPIENS

Homo sapiens

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Species to which all modern human beings belong. The oldest known fossil remains date to c. 120,000 years ago—or much earlier (c. 400,000 years ago) if evidence of certain archaic varieties is included. Homo sapiens is distinguished from earlier hominin species by characteristics and habits such as bipedal stance and gait, brain capacity averaging about 1,350 cc, high forehead, small teeth and jaw, defined chin, construction and use of tools, and ability to use symbols. Most scholars believe that modern humans developed in Africa c. 150,000 years ago and spread to the Middle East c. 100,000 years ago and to other parts of Eurasia c. 40,000–50,000 years ago (this is known as the “single-origin” model). Others contend that modern humans developed from various regional populations of archaic H. sapiens or even other species of Homo in Eurasia beginning c. 250,000 years ago (the “multiregional” model). In the first model the genetic differences that exist between the peoples of the world would not be very old; in the second model they would be significantly older. In any case, by c. 11,000 BC modern H. sapiens had peopled virtually the entire globe. See also Cro-Magnon; culture; human evolution; Neanderthal.


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