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

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Oh, and there was the unfortunate capuchin monkey seized at customs in Germany. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Justin and Hailey Bieber Open Up About Their Passionate, Not-Always-Easy but Absolutely All-In Romance," 7 Feb. 2019 Other species with similar practices include chimpanzees in west Africa, macaques in Thailand, and other species of capuchins in South America, New Scientist reported. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Panama monkeys may have begun their own Stone Age, scientists say," 4 July 2018 Earlier this month, a group of capuchins were spotted in Panama using stone tools to smash shellfish and other foods, theWashington Post’s Sarah Kaplan reports. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Did the Human Hand Evolve as a Lean Mean Bone-Smashing Machine?," 13 July 2018 Monk, a 4-year-old capuchin monkey, was seen in police body cam footage clinging to Hession ‘s chest. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Police arrest Florida man after he steals car with pet monkey, allow him one final goodbye," 9 June 2018 Or Brazilian capuchin monkeys that use heavy stones to smash hard nuts against flat boulders that serve as anvils. Jonathan Balcombe, Scientific American, "Fishes Use Problem-Solving and Invent Tools," 1 May 2017 While Carl Minix went out to dinner between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, a burglar broke into his home near Griffin Road and Southwest 148th Avenue and stole the 3-month-old Brazilian black cap capuchin monkey out of his cage, Minix said., "$10,000 reward offered in missing monkey case," 18 Dec. 2017 Researchers have detected Zika in capuchin monkeys and common marmosets, which both reside near humans in Brazil. Aimee Cunningham, Washington Post, "Although the number of Zika cases has fallen, the virus is unlikely to vanish," 4 Nov. 2017 Visitors can walk through trails and get up close to one gorilla, one orangutan, five capuchins and dozens of Java macaques and squirrel monkeys. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Miami monkeys prepare for Hurricane Irma," 9 Sep. 2017

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.

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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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Capuchin cross



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Time Traveler for capuchin

The first known use of capuchin was in 1589

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

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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