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 Her first recorded encounter with a chimpanzee happened at age one, when her father gifted her with a stuffed toy primate named . Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Immerse Yourself in Jane Goodall’s Wondrous, Chimpanzee-Filled Life," 8 Jan. 2020 Dozens of chimpanzees emerged from the brush, hairy arms extended. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, "U.S. lab chimps were dumped on Liberia’s Monkey Island and left to starve. He saved them.," 12 Dec. 2019 Worse than the chimpanzee who bit his owner’s face off. John Kass,, "Column: A day in the diner, and the stories that count," 8 Nov. 2019 Firefighters were able to rescue two chimpanzees, Billy and Lambo, from the ape house. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "More Than 30 Animals, Among Them ‘Highly Endangered’ Species, Killed in Fire at German Zoo," 1 Jan. 2020 About 190 chimpanzees remain at two private facilities: the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, and Yerkes National Primate Research Center in Atlanta. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Some of NIH’s chimpanzees will not retire to a sanctuary as planned," 24 Oct. 2019 Contrary to popular belief—and despite being the subject of much of her life's work—chimpanzees are not Jane Goodall's favorite animal. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Jane Goodall Tells Prince Harry Why Her Favorite Animal Isn't a Chimpanzee," 30 July 2019 To me, this suggests that chimpanzees are aware of how their signals come across. Frans De Waal, Discover Magazine, "Cheerful Chimps: Are Animals Really Happy When They Smile?," 31 May 2019 In 2012 Yuko Hattori of Kyoto University published the first evidence from a controlled experiment showing that chimpanzees will spontaneously tap to a beat. Quanta Magazine, "The Beasts That Keep the Beat," 22 Mar. 2016

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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Time Traveler for chimpanzee

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The first known use of chimpanzee was in 1738

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Statistics for chimpanzee

Last Updated

23 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chimpanzee.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for chimpanzee


How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio) How to pronounce chimpanzee (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on chimpanzee

Spanish Central: Translation of chimpanzee

Nglish: Translation of chimpanzee for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on chimpanzee

What made you want to look up chimpanzee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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