great ape


Definition of great ape

: any of several large primates including the orangutan, gorilla, chimpanzee, and bonobo that are either placed in the same family (Hominidae) as humans or are grouped in a separate family (Pongidae)

Examples of great ape in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Goodall’s work opened the world’s eyes to our closest great ape relatives. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Immerse Yourself in Jane Goodall’s Wondrous, Chimpanzee-Filled Life," 8 Jan. 2020 Concerns about our vulnerable great ape cousins, who harbor coronavirus-friendly versions of ACE2 on their cells, have already prompted conservation sites and parks to shutter. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why the New Coronavirus Affects Some Animals, but Not Others," 20 Apr. 2020 The great ape, a favorite of tourists, died after a poacher thrust a spear into his belly, penetrating as deep as his internal organs, according to a post-mortem report. Jack Losh, National Geographic, "Beloved silverback gorilla killed by poachers in Uganda," 12 June 2020 Fiona, gorillas and great apes – missed the company, too. Sarah Haselhorst,, "Gotta go find Lucille: Cincinnati Zoo's small but lively reopening had kids with to-do lists," 10 June 2020 Disease ecologists warned that the virus might spread to the great apes. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Findings," 25 May 2020 Humans take much longer to grow up than other great apes, which may be related to our larger brains and more complex cognitive skills. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Anthropologists describe the first skeleton of a Homo naledi child," 10 Apr. 2020 The orangutan is Asia's only great ape and is found mostly in Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia, with the remaining 10% found in Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia, according to the BOS foundation. Emma Reynolds, CNN, "This orangutan saw a man wading in snake-infested water and decided to offer a helping hand," 7 Feb. 2020 But in older hominins like A. sediba and H. erectus, that's not the case; their order of adult tooth growth looks more like modern great apes. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Anthropologists describe the first skeleton of a Homo naledi child," 10 Apr. 2020

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

1771, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of great ape was in 1771

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Cite this Entry

“Great ape.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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