Ne·​an·​der·​thal | \ nē-ˈan-dər-ˌtȯl How to pronounce Neanderthal (audio) , -ˌthȯl How to pronounce Neanderthal (audio) ; nā-ˈän-dər-ˌtäl \

Definition of Neanderthal

1 or less commonly Neandertal \ nē-​ˈan-​dər-​ˌtȯl How to pronounce Neandertal (audio) , nā-​ˈän-​dər-​ˌtäl \ : a hominid (Homo neanderthalensis syn H. sapiens neanderthalensis) known from skeletal remains in Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia that lived from about 30,000 to 200,000 years ago

called also Neanderthal man

2 : one who suggests a caveman in appearance, mentality, or behavior

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Other Words from Neanderthal

Neanderthal or less commonly Neandertal adjective
Neanderthaloid \ nē-​ˈan-​dər-​ˌtȯ-​ˌlȯid How to pronounce Neanderthaloid (audio) , -​ˌthȯ-​ ; nā-​ˈän-​dər-​ˌtä-​ \ adjective or noun

Synonyms for Neanderthal


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Examples of Neanderthal in a Sentence

I can't believe I was married to that Neanderthal for three years. Some Neanderthals continue to resist the education reform bill.

First Known Use of Neanderthal

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Neanderthal

Neanderthal, valley in western Germany

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Time Traveler for Neanderthal

Time Traveler

The first known use of Neanderthal was in 1874

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Neanderthal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for Neanderthal


How to pronounce Neanderthal (audio) How to pronounce Neanderthal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of Neanderthal

: a type of early human being that existed very long ago in Europe
: a man who is stupid and rude
: a person who has very old-fashioned ideas and who does not like change


Ne·​an·​der·​thal | \ nē-ˈan-dər-ˌthȯl How to pronounce Neanderthal (audio) \
variants: or Neandertal \ -​ˌtȯl \

Kids Definition of Neanderthal

: an ancient human who lived 30,000 to 200,000 years ago

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