ba·boon | \ba-ˈbün, chiefly British bə-\

Definition of baboon 

: 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

From boars roaming Berlin and gangs of baboons in Cape Town to a mountain lion in the Hollywood Hills and coyotes in Chicago, the swelling ranks of new and eager urban dwellers include many wild animals. Aditi Shrikant,, "When wild animals urbanize," 13 July 2018 But people are obviously attached to their dogs, and here they are needed for hunting and to protect huts against thieves, crops against baboons, and livestock against hyenas. New York Times, "Nearly Eradicated in Humans, the Guinea Worm Finds New Victims: Dogs," 18 June 2018 In one camp, Hadza wore baboon skins, which is not their traditional dress but fits tourist expectations, Leach says. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Farmers, tourists, and cattle threaten to wipe out some of the world’s last hunter-gatherers," 17 May 2018 Although chimpanzees, baboons, and elephants are thought to experience the complex emotion, scientists don’t yet know enough about it in other animals. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "Do dolphins feel grief?," 19 June 2018 Our cabby told us about an astonished couple preparing to get their daughter from her car seat when a baboon popped into the back, grabbed the baby bottle, chugged it, and then gave it back to the baby. Bella English,, "A vacation sequel as good as the original," 13 Feb. 2018 Leopards, a particular threat to baboons, were thought to have been exterminated in Gorongosa. Christopher Torchia, The Christian Science Monitor, "Underdogs no more: African wild dogs make comeback in Mozambique," 22 June 2018 Death masks of numerous species hang on every wall—sometimes the preparators will pull one down to check the exact shape of the ridge above a baboon’s eyes, or the texture of a lizard’s scales. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Unseen Oceans: How the American Museum of Natural History Builds a New Exhibit," 21 June 2018 On a well-trodden elephant path, where baboons roam and lions lurk, Kate Wilson arrives to unlock the wooden doors of Mulberry Mongoose. National Geographic, "These Artists Are Making Jewelry to Help Protect Their Country's Wildlife," 17 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of baboon

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for baboon

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about baboon

Dictionary Entries near baboon








Statistics for baboon

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for baboon

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for baboon



English Language Learners Definition of baboon

: a large African or Asian monkey


ba·boon | \ba-ˈbün \

Kids Definition of baboon

: a large monkey of Africa and Asia with a doglike face

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on baboon

What made you want to look up baboon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!