ape

noun
\ ˈāp How to pronounce ape (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ape (audio) \ adjective

Verb

aper noun

Synonyms for ape

Synonyms: Verb

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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 That good news finally came on Sunday thanks to a giant radioactive lizard and an oversized ape. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "'Godzilla vs. Kong' is the biggest hit of the pandemic," 4 Apr. 2021 Every bit of dialogue serves only to help explain why a dinosaur with radiation breath must fight an overgrown ape. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Awesome Emptiness of Godzilla vs. Kong," 31 Mar. 2021 And as an ape, Kong would also likely use tools to some degree and might even capitalize on his throwing ability. Kiersten Formoso, The Conversation, "Godzilla vs. Kong: A functional morphologist uses science to pick a winner," 29 Mar. 2021 First coming to the movies in 1933, the massive ape has been seen on the big screen a dozen times, as well as on television and even as the star of a Broadway musical. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "saved a movie studio," 26 Mar. 2021 Officials in Oklahoma have placed a bounty on Bigfoot, the mythical North American ape, in an attempt to encourage more tourism. Star Tribune, "Iceland opens back up to U.S. citizens and the hunt is on for Bigfoot," 19 Mar. 2021 Caesar the ape leads simians in revolt against the governor enslaving them on future Earth. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘My Fair Lady’; ‘Marry Poppins’," 19 Mar. 2021 However, with fewer students able to sit for tests during the pandemic and large numbers of colleges and universities adopting test-optional admission policies, this ape has been losing weight. Brennan Barnard, Forbes, "Wanted: Students For Admission To College," 12 Mar. 2021 White classmates make ape noises at one Emory daughter; golliwog dolls hang from the family’s roof; a church is set ablaze. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Who Wants to Watch Black Pain?," 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Later With John Mayer would ape the format of the long-running British chat show, Later With Jools Holland. Bethy Squires, Vulture, "John Mayer May Be Joining the Late-Night Pantheon," 28 Apr. 2021 But though there have been many iterations of Kong, none can ape the impact of the original. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "saved a movie studio," 26 Mar. 2021 WandaVision isn't just inspired by sitcoms, then, but seems to unknowingly ape their message that the (white) nuclear family is the ideal pillar of society. Jeva Lange, TheWeek, "What is a woman's place in the Marvel universe?," 26 Feb. 2021 The Gringa goes out of its way to ape the sort of archival work that fiction writers who deal carefully with history engage in—only to dismiss it all as meaningless. Andrew Altschul, The New York Review of Books, "Fiction and Responsibility," 6 July 2020 Sumit Ghosh’s strategy seems to be to ape TikTok—literally. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "The race to become India’s TikTok is on—and everyone’s struggling," 2 July 2020 On Thursday, however, those who tuned in to watch streams of operas, orchestral concerts and chamber music programs, from Berlin to Philadelphia, weren’t aping the live audience. New York Times, "In a Pandemic, Musicians Play in Empty Halls for Audiences Online," 13 Mar. 2020 American media wield influence around the world and are widely aped: the New York Times boasts readers everywhere; websites such as BuzzFeed have inspired similar clickbait sites in dozens of countries. The Economist, "Teenagers are rewriting the rules of the news," 18 Dec. 2019 Besides taking the branding of the Sony camera lineup, the Xperia 1 II tries to ape a few features and design touches from the Sony camera lineup. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "New Sony Xperia 1 II smartphone looks handsome, costs a ridiculous $1,300," 24 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But now the world’s gorillas, and also their great-ape cousins, the chimpanzees, bonobos and orang-utans, face another threat from their human neighbours: covid-19. The Economist, "The pandemic and wild animals Protecting great apes from covid-19," 16 May 2020 But a close analysis of the rounded head of the femur revealed that their hips were carrying weight differently and much more ape-like by hanging out in trees. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Ancient humans are having a moment. Here are the fascinating new things we've learned this week about our ancestors," 2 Apr. 2020 Every hominin species in the fossil record has its own unique mix of familiar human traits and more ape-like ones, shaped by their environments and lifestyles. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Long after some hominins were bipedal, others stuck to the trees," 30 Mar. 2020 Walking upright on two legs is considered a human trait that separates us from our ape relatives, like chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Ancient humans are having a moment. Here are the fascinating new things we've learned this week about our ancestors," 2 Apr. 2020 That species was an early member of our genus who walked upright and had a mixture of human and ape-like features. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists put stone tools through modern engineering tests," 3 Feb. 2020 The fire started in a corner of the ape house’s roof in the first minutes of the new year and spread rapidly. Washington Post, "3 women investigated for causing deadly blaze at German zoo," 2 Jan. 2020 Students primed with black faces detected ape images more quickly. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, "Meet the psychologist exploring unconscious bias—and its tragic consequences for society," 26 Mar. 2020 Danuvius is undoubtedly a very important fossil, with lots to teach us about how varied ape locomotion can be. Vivien Shaw, Quartz, "Scientists want to rewrite the evolution of walking—but should they?," 14 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for ape

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ape

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ape. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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
informal : a large and stupid or rude person

ape

verb

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

often disapproving : to copy or imitate (something or someone)

ape

noun
\ ˈāp How to pronounce ape (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ape (audio) \

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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