hom·​i·​nin | \ ˈhä-mə-nən How to pronounce hominin (audio) , -ˌnin \

Definition of hominin

: any of a taxonomic tribe (Hominini) of hominids that includes recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms

Examples of hominin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Why did a hominin 1.5 million years ago pick this kind of rock, and why this particular chunk of it? Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists put stone tools through modern engineering tests," 3 Feb. 2020 By the 1950s, anthropologists had accepted that Taung was indeed a hominin and that an exceptionally large brain had not always been a distinguishing characteristic of humans. Quanta Magazine, "How Humans Evolved Supersize Brains," 10 Nov. 2015 Because many of the fossilized remains of ancient hominins come from tropical and subtropical areas, like East Africa, southern Africa and Indonesia, there’s little chance that viable DNA has survived. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Scientists Now Know Where the Largest Primate to Ever Exist Sits in Primate Family Tree," 14 Nov. 2019 Clearly, hominins hadn’t yet started developing our infamous big brains in A. anamensis’ day. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Early hominin skull fills in “a major gap” in the fossil record," 29 Aug. 2019 Haile-Selassie’s discovery of a 3.8 million-year-old complete hominin cranium is what drew Nature’s attention. Greg Burnett, cleveland, "Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie wins prestigious honor from journal Nature," 20 Dec. 2019 New Human Relatives The human family tree expanded significantly in the past decade, with fossils of new hominin species discovered in Africa and the Philippines. Jay Bennett, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of the Decade," 6 May 2012 Traditionally, paleoanthropologists use fossil skeletons of ancient hominins to look for features that set them apart. National Geographic, "DNA reveals first look at enigmatic human relative," 19 Sep. 2019 Haile-Selassie and colleagues compared the skull (dubbed MRD after part of its collection ID number) with a wide variety of hominin fossils from across Africa. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian, "A 3.8-Million-Year-Old Skull Puts a New Face on a Little-Known Human Ancestor," 29 Aug. 2019

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

1989, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hominin

New Latin Hominini, from Homin-, Homo + -ini, tribe suffix, from Latin -inus -ine entry 1

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Time Traveler for hominin

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The first known use of hominin was in 1989

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Statistics for hominin

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hominin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hominin. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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