Homo erectus

noun
Homo erec·​tus | \ -ə̇ˈrektəs \

Definition of Homo erectus

: an extinct large-brained hominid of the genus Homo (H. erectus) that is known from fossil remains in Africa, Europe, and Asia, is estimated to have flourished from 1.6 million years ago to 250,000 years ago, is thought to be the first hominid to master fire and inhabit caves, and is believed to be the immediate ancestor of modern man

History and Etymology for Homo erectus

New Latin, literally, erect human being

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!

Learn More About Homo erectus

Dictionary Entries Near Homo erectus

homoeotopy

Homo erectus

homoerotic

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Homo erectus

Cite this Entry

“Homo erectus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Homo%20erectus. Accessed 6 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!