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 Instead, a concerted and sustained conservation campaign has averted the worst and given a second chance to these great apes, which share about 98% of human DNA. Fox News, "Intense monitoring and care lift mountain gorilla numbers," 12 Nov. 2019 Instead, a concerted and sustained conservation campaign has averted the worst and given a second chance to these great apes, which share about 98% of human DNA. Christina Larson, The Denver Post, "How do you save endangered gorillas? With lots of human help," 29 Oct. 2019 The shaggy, red-haired great apes are critically endangered. USA TODAY, "Animation behind bars, Elliott the elk, SkyStar: News from around our 50 states," 10 Sep. 2019 The great apes are tiny compared to elephants and whales, yet their cortices are far denser: Orangutans and gorillas have 9 billion cortical neurons, and chimps have 6 billion. Quanta Magazine, "How Humans Evolved Supersize Brains," 10 Nov. 2015 Similarly, keepers were forced to shoot a western lowland gorilla named Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016 to protect a young child that had fallen into the great ape’s enclosure. Jason Bittel, National Geographic, "How to be safe while visiting a zoo or other wildlife facility," 14 May 2019 One day in 2010, while waiting for an experiment to be set up at a great ape research center in Des Moines, Iowa, Gray began idly tapping her hand on the side of a glass enclosure. Quanta Magazine, "The Beasts That Keep the Beat," 22 Mar. 2016 As the largest great ape sanctuary in the world, our costs are practically endless. Kelli Bender,, "School for Orphaned Baby Orangutans Helps the Young Primates Grow Up and Graduate to the Wild," 1 Aug. 2019 More studies need to be done to see whether such short-term interactions, like sharing a video, strengthen great ape relationships in the long run, the team notes. Katie Camero, Science | AAAS, "Chimpanzees grow closer when they watch a movie together," 16 July 2019

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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Last Updated

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Great ape.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on great ape

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with great ape Encyclopedia article about great ape

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