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

The site’s capuchins use quartzite cobbles as hammerstones, and tree limbs and loose stones as anvils. The Economist, "Capuchin monkeys have been using stone tools for around 3,000 years," 27 June 2019 On the other side of the globe, in the Brazilian Amazon, palm nuts are smashed hammer-and-anvil style by capuchins — clever monkeys boasting the largest brain-to-body size ratio of any primate besides humans. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "A Primer to Our Planet of Monkeys," 12 June 2019 Most primates in accredited sanctuaries are chimpanzees, capuchins, and squirrel monkeys, according to Erika Fleury, program director for the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, or NAPSA, an advocacy group for captive primates. NBC News, "More research labs are retiring rather than euthanizing monkeys when studies finish," 14 June 2019 In 2016, primate archaeologists discovered that bearded capuchin monkeys used stone anvils more than 600 years earlier than previously thought and in regions no longer frequented by that species of monkey. National Geographic, "Sea otters use tools, too. Now scientists look at their 'archaeology'," 29 Mar. 2019 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

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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22 Jul 2019

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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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