Homo sapiens


Ho·​mo sa·​pi·​ens ˌhō-(ˌ)mō-ˈsā-pē-ˌenz How to pronounce Homo sapiens (audio)
 especially British  -ˈsa-pē-ənz

Example Sentences

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

Word History


New Latin, species name, from Homo, genus name + sapiens, specific epithet, from Latin, wise, intelligent — more at homo, sapient

First Known Use

1802, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Homo sapiens was in 1802

Dictionary Entries Near Homo sapiens

Cite this Entry

“Homo sapiens.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Homo%20sapiens. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

Homo sapiens

Ho·​mo sa·​pi·​ens ˌhō-mō-ˈsap-ē-ənz How to pronounce Homo sapiens (audio)
: the human race

Medical Definition

Homo sapiens

Ho·​mo sa·​pi·​ens ˌhō-(ˌ)mō-ˈsap-ē-ənz How to pronounce Homo sapiens (audio) -ˈsā-pē- How to pronounce Homo sapiens (audio)
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