orangutan

noun
orang·​u·​tan | \ ə-ˈraŋ-ə-ˌtaŋ How to pronounce orangutan (audio) , -ˈraŋ-gə-, -ˌtan How to pronounce orangutan (audio) \

Definition of orangutan

: a largely herbivorous arboreal anthropoid ape (Pongo pygmaeus) of Borneo and Sumatra that is about ²/₃ as large as the gorilla and has brown skin, long sparse reddish-brown hair, and very long arms

Illustration of orangutan

Illustration of orangutan

Examples of orangutan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The last phase will include the renovation of the existing Predator building to highlight Asian species like the Malayan tiger, Komodo dragon, Sumatran orangutans, red pandas and fishing cats. Hailey Auglair | Hauglair@al.com, al.com, "Birmingham mayor cuts ribbon at new zoo entrance opening," 27 June 2019 These species include the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Sumatran orangutan, whose habitat is being destroyed by logging and agriculture. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "What is extinction? The answer is complicated.," 29 May 2019 This non-functioning extra piece of NOTCH2 code is still present in chimps and gorillas, but not in orangutans, which went off on their own evolutionary path 14 million years ago. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: Finding Human Ancestors in New Places," 15 Jan. 2019 Over a simmering pot of laksa (spicy noodle soup) Eusope sometimes closes her eyes and imagines frolicking in the flood waters after a monsoon in Penang, her pet orangutan, Madu, by her side. Justin Phillips, SFChronicle.com, "San Francisco’s new Malaysian restaurant, Mahila, is a chef’s ode to childhood and mamak culture," 13 June 2019 Setchell points out how much social variability exists just within the great apes: gorilla groups are often based around just one male; male chimps form coalitions; and orangutans are solitary. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Gorillas that are great with kids are also luckier in love," 18 Oct. 2018 Gibbons are long-armed, tree-dwelling primates that are much smaller than the great apes (such as gorillas, orangutans and humans). Amina Khan, latimes.com, "Extinct species of gibbon discovered in an unlikely place — the tomb of a Chinese noblewoman," 22 June 2018 The nests or tracks of animals, such as orangutans and turtles, can also be used to infer presence. Smithsonian, "When It Comes to Counting Wildlife, Drones Are More Accurate Than People," 27 Feb. 2018 His company’s rain forest, a humid and swampy expanse home to orangutans and clouded leopards, is twice the size of New York City and has one of the largest carbon stores of any such project in the world. Jon Emont, WSJ, "One Man’s Money-Draining Bet on Climate Change," 27 Dec. 2018

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

1691, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orangutan

Bazaar Malay (Malay-based pidgin), from Malay orang man + hutan forest

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Dictionary Entries near orangutan

orangey

orangish

Orang Laut

orangutan

Oranian

Oranjestad

orans

Statistics for orangutan

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orangutan

The first known use of orangutan was in 1691

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More Definitions for orangutan

orangutan

noun

English Language Learners Definition of orangutan

: a large ape that has very long arms and reddish-brown hair

orangutan

noun
orang·​utan | \ ə-ˈraŋ-ə-ˌtaŋ How to pronounce orangutan (audio) , -ˌtan\

Kids Definition of orangutan

: a large ape of Borneo and Sumatra that lives in trees, eats mostly fruit, leaves, and other plant matter, and has very long arms, long reddish brown hair, and a nearly hairless face

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More from Merriam-Webster on orangutan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with orangutan

Spanish Central: Translation of orangutan

Nglish: Translation of orangutan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orangutan

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