ba·​boon ba-ˈbün How to pronounce baboon (audio)
 chiefly British  bə-
: any of a genus (Papio) of large gregarious primates of Africa and southwestern Asia having a long square naked muzzle
also : any of several closely related primates

Illustration of baboon

Illustration of baboon

Examples of baboon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Once the leopard disappeared into the bush, the baboons returned and the four of us laughingly tried to imagine the meaning of their chatter, which sounded boastful now that the danger had passed. Tayari Jones, Travel + Leisure, 26 July 2023 Exactly five years later, the first nonhuman primate was conceived in a petri dish — a baboon named E.T. for Embryo Transfer. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 July 2023 The baboon was not native to Egypt, but still played an outsized role in Egyptian religion. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 2 Aug. 2022 For example, female baboons who have the hardest childhoods have life spans that are on average only half as long as their peers that have the easiest. Stacy Rosenbaum, Fortune Well, 15 May 2023 Animals were everywhere during World War I. Sixteen million non-human animals were sent into the service: trench dogs that hunted rats; carrier pigeons; and even a baboon named Jackie, who served as a private in the Third South African Infantry Regiment. Nick Yetto, Smithsonian Magazine, 2 June 2023 The other consortium, led by Rogers, also found signs of rampant hybridization in the DNA of 225 wild baboons from multiple species, which conservation biologist Julius Keyyu at the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute helped obtain and analyze. Byelizabeth Pennisi,, 1 June 2023 The elephants were slow to make an appearance that morning, but the kudus, impalas, baboons, warthogs, Cape buffalos, and hippos were not at all put off by the rain, nor were the countless species of birds. Elizabeth Heath, Travel + Leisure, 17 Apr. 2023 In this baboon species, males miss out on friendship and its possible benefits. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 2 July 2010 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'baboon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English babewin, from Middle French babouin, from baboue grimace

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of baboon was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near baboon

Cite this Entry

“Baboon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


ba·​boon ba-ˈbün How to pronounce baboon (audio)
: any of several large African and Asian monkeys having long squarish muzzles and usually short tails

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