hom·​i·​nin | \ˈhä-mə-nən, -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

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The girl reportedly had a Denisovan father and Neanderthal mother, two species of hominins (a classification group that evolved into modern humans). Prince Shakur, Teen Vogue, "Scientists Discover Remains of an Ancient Human Hybrid," 25 Aug. 2018 The study helps settle a long-standing debate about how quickly our ancestors developed a humanlike gait, and shows that ancient hominins didn’t have to sacrifice climbing agility to walk upright efficiently. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Our tree-climbing human ancestors could walk upright like us, study of chimps and other primates shows," 2 Apr. 2018 There were likely many species or populations of hominins that left Africa, only to die out somewhere in their journey across the globe. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Oldest Stone Tools Outside Africa Unearthed in China," 12 July 2018 Thanks to greater capacity for language, this may be a common trait shared by hominins but probably not our last common ancestor with the other great apes. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Homo naledi’s brain: Like ours, but smaller," 14 May 2018 Old World monkeys, apes and hominins — the branch of the ape family tree that includes humans — inherited that ancestor’s ability to see red, particularly against a green background. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Pigment of Our Imagination," 23 Mar. 2018 Before the Middle Paleolithic, hominins created biface tools, or simple, heavy hand axes shaped like teardrops. Annalee Newitz, Ars Technica, "Ancient tools found in India undermine the “out of Africa” hypothesis," 31 Jan. 2018 Chinese and Georgian scholars have long argued that a more primitive species of hominin got out of Africa and gave rise to H. erectus in Asia. Ann Gibbons, Science | AAAS, "Our ancestors may have left Africa hundreds of thousands of years earlier than thought," 11 July 2018 Until this most recent find, Smith reports, the only strong evidence of hominin occupation came from a foot bone found in nearby Callao Cave on Luzon, which was dated to 67,000 years ago. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "700,000-Year-Old Butchered Rhino Pushes Back Ancient Human Arrival in the Philippines," 4 May 2018

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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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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The first known use of hominin was in 1989

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