bo·​no·​bo | \bə-ˈnō-bō; ˈbä-nə-bō, -nō- \
plural bonobos

Definition of bonobo 

: a rare anthropoid ape (Pan paniscus) that has a more slender build and longer limbs than the related common chimpanzee (P. troglodytes) and that inhabits a small geographic region in equatorial Africa south of the Congo River

called also pygmy chimpanzee

Examples of bonobo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The water systems for both the gorillas and the bonobos have been disinfected and the zoo has implemented new protocols to disinfect produce, which can be another source of E. coli. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County Zoo gorillas died from gastrointestinal infections, probably E. coli," 7 June 2018 Like human infants, bonobos could distinguish each shape on the basis of its social behaviors. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Bonobos Might Not Be So Laid-Back after All," 4 Jan. 2018 There is Kanzi, the 37-year-old bonobo who can understand hundreds of lexigrams representing words and actions, and can construct sentences by pointing out the correct symbol on a screen. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Koko the Gorilla Wasn't Human, But She Taught Us So Much About Ourselves," 21 June 2018 The authors report that the same process has been shown to effectively re-create the structure of a bonobo brain by morphing a chimpanzee brain, and vice versa. Deborah Netburn,, "The shape, not size, of our ancestors' brains may have helped them outlast Neanderthals," 27 Apr. 2018 In one experiment, 24 bonobos watched a series of cartoons depicting an anthropomorphic circle trying to ascend a hill. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Bonobos Might Not Be So Laid-Back after All," 4 Jan. 2018 The Milwaukee County Zoo has sent bonobos from its group to other zoos in the world, and Boese created a Zoological Society of Milwaukee great apes conservation program to document the remaining population in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gil Boese was a wildlife conservationist and former director of the Milwaukee County Zoo," 22 Mar. 2018 Then there are chimpanzees and their close relatives, bonobos. Karen Kaplan,, "These orangutans are the newest species of great ape, and there are fewer than 800 left," 3 Nov. 2017 Conservationists hope the find—the first new species of great ape to be discovered since the bonobo in 1929—will help raise awareness of the plight of orangutans. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "New great ape species found, sparking fears for its survival," 2 Nov. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bonobo.' 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 bonobo

1954, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bonobo

origin unknown

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The first known use of bonobo was in 1954

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bo·​no·​bo | \bə-ˈnō-bō; ˈbä-nə-bō, -nō- \

Medical Definition of bonobo 

: a rare anthropoid ape of the genus Pan (P. paniscus) that has a more slender build and longer limbs than the related common chimpanzee (P. troglodytes)

called also pygmy chimpanzee

More from Merriam-Webster on bonobo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bonobo Encyclopedia article about bonobo

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