gib·​bon ˈgi-bən How to pronounce gibbon (audio)
: any of a genus (Hylobates of the family Hylobatidae) of agile brachiating tailless apes of southeastern Asia that are the smallest and most arboreal anthropoid apes

Illustration of gibbon

Illustration of gibbon

Examples of gibbon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Silly love songs Skywalker gibbons can’t swim, so rivers often form natural boundaries for them. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 14 Feb. 2024 Although rhinos are the star attraction on park safaris, all sorts of animals live here, including tigers, elephants, gibbons, sloth bears, and a small number of endangered Ganges River dolphins. Margot Bigg, Travel + Leisure, 28 Jan. 2024 Cant was studying the locomotion of monkeys, gibbons, and orangutans for his research on the evolution of the primate musculoskeletal system. Karen Wright, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 There are shy animals, like the hermit crab, and outgoing animals, like the gibbon, shaking you down for your KIND bar in the rain forest. Colin Nissan, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 The park has held off on an expansion of its gibbon pen, a big project that would have given the playful primates more space, but would have also required taking out a loan. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, 2 Nov. 2023 In a white-handed gibbon, Hylobates lar, the fundamental frequency (f(0) ) of song sounds is amplified distinctively from the higher harmonics in normal air. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 2 Oct. 2012 Humans lie closer to gibbons on the dimorphism spectrum: human males can be up to 20 percent more massive, on average, than females. Blake Edgar, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2016 The Akron Zoo on Friday announced the name for its newest addition, a baby white-cheeked gibbon. Megan Becka, cleveland, 28 Jan. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gibbon.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1774, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gibbon was in 1774

Dictionary Entries Near gibbon

Cite this Entry

“Gibbon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


gib·​bon ˈgib-ən How to pronounce gibbon (audio)
: any of several tailless apes of southeastern Asia that are smaller and spend more time in trees than the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Gib·​bon ˈgi-bən How to pronounce Gibbon (audio)
Edward 1737–1794 English historian
Gibbonesque adjective
or Gibbonian

More from Merriam-Webster on gibbon

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!