ape

noun
\ˈāp \

Definition of ape 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : any of various large tailless semi-erect primates of Africa and southeastern Asia (such as the chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, or gibbon)

called also anthropoid, anthropoid ape

— compare great ape

b : monkey especially : one of the larger tailless or short-tailed Old World forms not used technically

2a : mimic

b : a large uncouth person

ape

verb
aped; aping

Definition of ape (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to copy closely but often clumsily and ineptly

ape

adjective

Definition of ape (Entry 3 of 3)

: crazy, wild usually used in the phrase go ape

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Other Words from ape

Noun

apelike \ˈāp-ˌlīk \ adjective

Verb

aper noun

Synonyms for ape

Synonyms: Verb

copy, copycat, emulate, imitate, mime, mimic

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Choose the Right Synonym for ape

Verb

copy, imitate, mimic, ape, mock mean to make something so that it resembles an existing thing. copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible. copied the painting and sold the fake as an original imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation. imitate a poet's style mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation. pupils mimicking their teacher ape may suggest presumptuous, slavish, or inept imitating of a superior original. American fashion designers aped their European colleagues mock usually implies imitation with derision. mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Examples of ape in a Sentence

Noun

Her boyfriend's some big ape she met at a party.

Verb

She apes the speech and manners of the rich. was caught aping the substitute teacher's thick accent
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One of the key traits that separates hominins from apes is bipedalism, or walking upright on two legs, freeing the arms to throw spears, pick berries or carry children. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Ancient Toddler Was at Home on the Ground and in the Trees," 5 July 2018 To: Michael Harriot You deceptive ape There is a huge difference between a European people who were deliberately kept poor and the negative consequences that followed for centuries (blaming the victim) and sub-saharan Africans. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: The Story of Clapback-idon," 8 June 2018 Lustig quit her job as great-ape keeper in September 2017 over the disagreements. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Monkey Jungle has reopened. Here is what has happened since the animal-abuse allegations.," 12 July 2018 Evolution is reversed as Charlton Heston lands on a planet completely ruled by apes. John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press, "Sci-fi classics invade the DIA for film series tied to 'Star Wars' exhibit," 7 June 2018 Look, man, one white woman calling another white woman a word is not the same as a white person calling a black person an ape. Chris Barton, latimes.com, "The Trump era may have raised the stakes, but Clusterfest (and comedy) goes on," 3 June 2018 Following Barr’s racist tweet calling former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett an ape, the network swiftly canceled the hit reboot. Niki Mcgloster, Essence.com, "The Quick Read: Shonda Rhimes Says Roseanne Barr Got Exactly What She Deserves," 30 May 2018 Don’t Defend Me’ On May 29, ABC canceled Roseanne after Barr, who starred as wife and mother Roseanne Conner, shared (and then deleted) a tweet comparing former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to an ape. Maria Pasquini, PEOPLE.com, "Roseanne Barr Says She’s Gotten a ‘Really Good Offer to Go Back on TV’ — And She ‘Might Do It’," 2 July 2018 During this time, Australopithecine brains started to show subtle changes in structure and shape as compared with apes. Scientific American, "How Has the Human Brain Evolved?," 9 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gillespie, who went on to ape some of Stewart’s hard-edge messaging, lost by a landslide to Democrat Ralph Northam in November. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "‘My opponent likes to praise and encourage white supremacists,’ Kaine tells crowd.," 17 June 2018 And Mr Ortega is aping the repression of the Somozas. The Economist, "Daniel Ortega is causing a bloodbath in Nicaragua," 12 July 2018 Lumberjacks and the hipster bartenders who ape their style have long favored Pendleton’s flannel overshirts. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "When It’s Super-Hot, This is Your Workwear Solution," 21 June 2018 Many of its propaganda tools merely aped the sorts of chauvinist and ethno-nationalist sentiment that Mr Trump and other right-wing politicians have long used to charge up their base. The Economist, "The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki," 5 July 2018 Facebook’s tendency to ape competing products can be a major threat to smaller companies; Snapchat’s recent troubles have been attributed in part to Facebook copying many of its features. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Tinder's Parent Company Is Buying an Anti-Tinder Dating App," 21 June 2018 Director and co-writer Gary Ross follows familiar story beats and attempts, unsuccessfully, to ape Soderbergh’s filmmaking style. Lindsey Bahr, kansascity, "‘Ocean’s 8’ cruises through familiar waters with its talented all-star cast," 7 June 2018 Initially, this dearth of new ideas isn’t so egregious; plenty of stories have aped Blade Runner for slick, sci-fi thrills and still managed to be insightful or at least entertaining. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Detroit: Become Human review: a beautiful vision of the future gets stuck in the past," 24 May 2018 Simon Cowell came onstage along with a young woman aping a ventriloquist version of him. Rani Molla, Recode, "The network TV upfronts, explained by a millennial," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Here’s just one component — research shows that the perception of black people as subhuman and ape-like directly informs the public’s view of whether police brutality against a black suspect is deserved. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Can Starbucks Change America?," 31 May 2018 The park consulted with the Center for Great Apes, a non-profit great-ape sanctuary in Central Florida, to move Mei for surgery. Chabeli Herrera, miamiherald, "Monkey Jungle has reopened. Here is what has happened since the animal-abuse allegations.," 12 July 2018 Jungers holds open the possibility that the Shangchen toolmaker was a species of Australopithecus, a group of more ape-like hominins to which the iconic fossil Lucy belongs. Colin Barras, Scientific American, "Tools from China are Oldest Hint of Human Lineage Outside Africa," 11 July 2018 That event will also raise money for the ape sanctuaries. Johnny Diaz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Michael Jackson's pet chimp Bubbles and other celebrity apes will have art exhibit in Miami," 19 June 2018 Barr also used an ape reference in a past tweet about Susan Rice, former President Obama’s National Security Adviser and — like Jarrett — an African-American woman. Karla Peterson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Why Roseanne Barr and Samantha Bee's slurs were shameful, but not equal," 1 June 2018 But the bikers come anyway, astride choppers and ape hangers, V-Twins shaking the wet pavement, and a rope or two hanging off handlebars—to whip cars that get too close. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Beer and Bikes in the Black Forest—And All for a Good Cause," 31 May 2018 The two watched acrobats in black body suits and ape ears — a nod to Kubrick’s film — swivel on a display in front of a re-creation of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz joint mission. Sopan Deb, New York Times, "Night at the Space Museum: 10 Open Bars and Tons of Kubrick References," 8 Apr. 2018 The world governing body FIFA is already investigating ape noises heard during a warmup friendly against France in Saint Petersburg last month. Dmitry Zaks, chicagotribune.com, "Spartak Moscow handed stadium ban for racist behavior," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ape.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ape

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Verb

1632, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1950, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ape

Noun

Middle English, from Old English apa; akin to Old High German affo ape

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Learn More about ape

Dictionary Entries near ape

Apayao

APB

APC

ape

apeak

ape-ape

APEC

Phrases Related to ape

go ape

Statistics for ape

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ape

The first known use of ape was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for ape

ape

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a type of animal (such as a chimpanzee or gorilla) that is closely related to monkeys and humans and that is covered in hair and has no tail or a very short tail

: a large and stupid or rude person

ape

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ape (Entry 2 of 2)

: to copy or imitate (something or someone)

ape

noun
\ˈāp \

Kids Definition of ape

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of a group of tailless animals (as gorillas or chimpanzees) that are primates most closely related to humans

Other Words from ape

apelike \ˈāp-ˌlīk \ adjective

ape

verb
aped; aping

Kids Definition of ape (Entry 2 of 2)

: to imitate (someone) awkwardly He apes the styles of his favorite actor.

ape

noun
\ˈāp \

Medical Definition of ape 

1 : monkey especially : one of the larger tailless or short-tailed Old World forms

2 : any of the large tailless semierect primates of Africa and southeastern Asia (as the chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, or gibbon)

called also anthropoid, anthropoid ape

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