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, unoriginal, 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 Researchers found the entire group, made up of 124 individuals, shared a core of ten types of bacteria that might have taken up residence in the mouths of human’s ape ancestors some 40 million years ago. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2021 The Tapanuli orangutan, the rarest ape on the planet, also shows up. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, The Christian Science Monitor, 14 May 2021 Kong’s journey, on a colossal barge tugged by an aircraft carrier and supported by a whole fleet, exists only as a pretext for the first fight scene between the ape and the reptile. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2021 Founded in 1997, the company pioneered great-ape tourism in the region and now operates four luxurious eco-lodges, three in Uganda and one in Rwanda. Gina Decaprio Vercesi, Travel + Leisure, 20 Mar. 2021 The unseriousness of it all is signaled from the start, when a lumbering Kong — now matured into the largest incarnation of the ornery ape ever — grouchily awakens on a utopian Skull Island like a trucker with a hangover. Jessica Kiang, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2021 That good news finally came on Sunday thanks to a giant radioactive lizard and an oversized ape. Frank Pallotta, CNN, 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, 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, 29 Mar. 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, 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, 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, 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, 6 July 2020 Sumit Ghosh’s strategy seems to be to ape TikTok—literally. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, 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, 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, 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, 24 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Each faces resistance from his own side, since anti-ape prejudice is still part of the formerly dominant species’ worldview. New York Times, 13 May 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 2 Jan. 2020 Students primed with black faces detected ape images more quickly. Douglas Starr, Science | AAAS, 26 Mar. 2020

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ape.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ape. Accessed 15 Jun. 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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