chim·​pan·​zee | \ (ˌ)chim-ˌpan-ˈzē How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio) , -pən-ˈzē, -ˈpan-zē How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio) , sometimes (ˌ)shim- \

Definition of chimpanzee

: an anthropoid ape (Pan troglodytes) of equatorial Africa that is smaller and more arboreal than the gorilla — compare bonobo

Illustration of chimpanzee

Illustration of chimpanzee

Examples of chimpanzee in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, 20 other zoos have joined the hashtag herd, with #ZooGlamourShots that include Lola the baby chimpanzee from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and Baku the tapir from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash. René A. Guzman, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio Zoo's #ZooGlamourShots hashtag and animal photos go wild on social media," 13 Apr. 2021 Both chimpanzee communities and human hunter-gatherer groups are extremely aggressive toward outsiders. Bruce Peterson, Star Tribune, "Counterpoint: Beware the dangers of bare-knuckled majority rule," 17 Apr. 2021 The Oxford-Astra vaccine uses a chimpanzee adenovirus to achieve the response, while J&J’s is derived from humans. Naomi Kresge, Fortune, "Johnson & Johnson to delay Europe vaccine rollout amid U.S. pause over six blood clot cases," 13 Apr. 2021 The AstraZeneca vaccine employs a chimpanzee adenovirus to carry DNA into recipients to spark an immune response against the coronavirus. New York Times, "Blood Clots Linked to AstraZeneca Vaccine Stem From Rare Antibody Reaction," 9 Apr. 2021 At least a dozen animals, including monkeys, lemurs and one chimpanzee, died after record-setting cold and snow left a Texas animal sanctuary without power, officials said. NBC News, "Chimpanzee, monkeys and lemurs die after Texas sanctuary loses power," 18 Feb. 2021 Her aim in citing the chimpanzee is to make this grief appear more natural, and so remove the shame and stigma associated with miscarriages that keep them from being well understood. Jo Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Struggle to Define Life," 12 Mar. 2021 The chimpanzee did not freeze to death, according to Feral. NBC News, "Chimpanzee, monkeys and lemurs die after Texas sanctuary loses power," 18 Feb. 2021 These cores can be carried into a cell sheathed in a tiny lipid droplet or a harmless chimpanzee virus. Marla Broadfoot, Scientific American, "Is It Safe to Delay a Second COVID Vaccine Dose?," 10 Feb. 2021

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

1738, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chimpanzee

Kongo dialect chimpenzi

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The first known use of chimpanzee was in 1738

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Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Chimpanzee.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for chimpanzee



English Language Learners Definition of chimpanzee

: an intelligent animal that is a type of ape and that lives mostly in trees in Africa


chim·​pan·​zee | \ ˌchim-ˌpan-ˈzē How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio) , chim-ˈpan-zē \

Kids Definition of chimpanzee

: an African ape that lives mostly in trees and is smaller than the related gorilla


chim·​pan·​zee | \ ˌchim-ˌpan-ˈzē How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio) , ˌshim- How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio) , -pən-; chim-ˈpan-zē, shim- \

Medical Definition of chimpanzee

: an anthropoid ape of the genus Pan (P. troglodytes) found in equatorial Africa that is smaller and more arboreal than the gorilla — see bonobo

More from Merriam-Webster on chimpanzee

Nglish: Translation of chimpanzee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of chimpanzee for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about chimpanzee

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