ca·​pu·​chin | \ ˈka-pyə-shən How to pronounce capuchin (audio) , -pə-, especially for sense 3 also kə-ˈpyü- How to pronounce capuchin (audio) , -ˈpü- \

Definition of capuchin

1 capitalized : a member of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin forming since 1529 an austere branch of the first order of St. Francis of Assisi engaged in missionary work and preaching
2 : a hooded cloak for women
3 : any of a genus (Cebus) of South and Central American monkeys especially : one (C. capucinus) with the dark hair on its crown resembling a close-fitting cap

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Members of a genus of tropical monkeys (four species altogether) capuchins are found from Nicaragua to Paraguay. Considered among the most intelligent New World monkeys, capuchins are so-named because of their cap of crown hair, which resembles the cowl of Capuchin monks. These stocky, round-headed monkeys are 12-22 in. (30-55 cm) long, with a hairy, prehensile tail of about the same length. They are brown or black in color, sometimes with white markings. Capuchins live in troops, often in the treetops. They eat fruit and small animals and sometimes raid plantations for oranges and other food. They are easily trained and are valued as gentle pets.

Examples of capuchin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In all three cases, a lactating mother brought the new baby into the fold, said Patrícia Izar, an associate professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil and a member of the team that studied the capuchin-marmoset adoption. Cara Giaimo, New York Times, 27 Feb. 2020 Female capuchins even flirt with potential mates by throwing rocks at them. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 24 June 2019 Brown posted a picture to his 44 million Instagram followers in early 2018 showing his daughter cuddling with the capuchin, named Fiji. CBS News, 5 Dec. 2019 The unnamed human-like monkey used to live with two female Margarita Island capuchins, but both of the ladies died before a love connection could be made. Kelli Bender,, 19 Nov. 2019 The 30-year-old singer was allowed to enter a diversion program nearly a year after he was charged with two misdemeanors over his possession of a pet capuchin monkey without a permit. CBS News, 5 Dec. 2019 After graduation, Hoffman spent a year in Costa Rica as a field assistant with UCLA’s Lomas Barbudal Monkey Project, observing a group of about 250 white-faced capuchins., 27 Nov. 2019 In 2016, the zoo brought in three younger Margarita Island capuchins and the zoo is hopeful that the human-like monkey’s mate is among the trio. Kelli Bender,, 19 Nov. 2019 The pair's youngest sons, Jack and Pickett, are part of the zoo's current capuchin troop. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, 31 Oct. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of capuchin

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for capuchin

Middle French, from Old Italian cappuccino, from cappuccio; from his cowl

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The first known use of capuchin was in 1589

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Capuchin cross

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Cite this Entry

“Capuchin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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