Ardipithecus

noun
Ar·​di·​pi·​the·​cus | \ ˌär-də-ˈpi-thə-kəs How to pronounce Ardipithecus (audio) , -pə-ˈthē- \

Definition of Ardipithecus

: a genus of extinct early hominids known from skeletal remains from northeastern Ethiopia that includes two identified species (A. ramidus and A. kadabba) having a grasping big toe and capable of some form of upright walking The Ardipithecus genus is a group that lived between 5.8 and 4.3 million years ago.— Charles Lockwood, The Human Story, 2008 Originally placed in Australopithecus, Ardipithecus is a genus represented by an accumulating number of specimens from sites like Aramis in the Middle Awash region of Ethiopia.— Holly M. Dunsworth, Human Origins 101, 2007 sometimes used as a general name for hominids of this genus Its wrists, elbows, feet, and hands suggest that Ardipithecus clambered about in trees by putting weight on the hands.— Jon Cohen, Almost Chimpanzee, 2010

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Ardipithecus

1995, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Ardipithecus

borrowed from New Latin, from Afar ard, ardi “earth, land, ground” (borrowed from Arabic arḍ) + New Latin -pithecus -pithecus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Ardipithecus

Time Traveler for Ardipithecus

Time Traveler

The first known use of Ardipithecus was in 1995

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Ardipithecus

Cite this Entry

“Ardipithecus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ardipithecus. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

Comments on Ardipithecus

What made you want to look up Ardipithecus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!