simian

adjective
sim·​i·​an | \ ˈsi-mē-ən How to pronounce simian (audio) \

Definition of simian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or resembling monkeys or apes

simian

noun

Definition of simian (Entry 2 of 2)

: monkey, ape also : any of a suborder (Anthropoidea) of primates that includes monkeys, apes, and humans

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Did You Know?

The Latin word for "ape" is simia, which itself comes from simus, "snub-nosed". Simian is usually a scientific word; thus, for instance, biologists study simian viruses in the search for cures to AIDS and other diseases. But simian can be used by the rest of us to describe human behavior. Human babies often cling to their mothers in a simian way, and kids playing on a jungle gym may look like simians. But if you notice that a friend has a simian style of walking or eating bananas, it might be best not to tell him.

Examples of simian in a Sentence

Adjective a study of simian viruses
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective From 1955 to 1963, between 10% and 30% of polio vaccines were contaminated with simian virus 40 (SV40). Jen Christensen, CNN, "Past vaccine disasters show why rushing a coronavirus vaccine now would be 'colossally stupid'," 1 Sep. 2020 Finally, the sound of wooden cowbells announced the reason for the simian commotion. Peter Terzian, Travel + Leisure, "In Kenya, an Epic Photographic Safari Through Some of Africa's Most Dramatic Landscapes," 18 Apr. 2020 And the hotel’s corner tower bears its own share of bizarre, simian-like faces sticking out their tongues. San Antonio Express-News, "The Gargoyles Guarding S.A.," 28 Mar. 2020 The vaccine also protected 67 percent of rhesus monkeys exposed to a simian virus similar to HIV, according to the researchers. Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "State of Science: A New Weapon Against HIV," 1 Jan. 2019 Animals, especially simian ones, were historically racialized in popular culture to dehumanize black people. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Prada pulled a collection of figurines that drew comparisons to anti-black caricatures," 14 Dec. 2018 Suotamo removes that old shuffle, and lends a loping simian gait and fresh physicality that adds more variety and expression. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "What lurks underneath 'Star Wars'' new Chewbacca? A 7-foot-3-inch former basketball player from Finland," 24 May 2018 Humanity has been decimated by a simian virus and may not survive. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Review: Evolving Deep Feelings and High Drama," 13 July 2017 And one King Kong or another has met his demise simply because a woman—a winsome Fay Wray, a foxy-sweet Jessica Lange—has captured his simian heart. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The Shape of Water," 31 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Want to experience the end of the world, an attack from outer space, a war to the death between superheroes, or a contagious disease that puts our simian cousins in control of the planet? Damon Linker, TheWeek, "Coronavirus' lessons in limits," 13 Mar. 2020 Tough but temporary, the simian intervention reminds us of our physical impermanence and the beauty of everyday materials. Kim Tan, BostonGlobe.com, "Eating out on Valentine’s is nice, but so is doing this," 9 Feb. 2020 Villagers in India being terrorized by more than 2,000 wild monkeys claim to have found an unconventional way to tackle the simian menace – by dressing up as bears. Fox News, "Villagers in India dress up as bears to scare off more than 2,000 monkeys," 30 Jan. 2020 An astronaut and his team crash on a world ruled by intelligent, talking simians who treat humans like animals. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 The most the officers could do, Singh said, was to allow villagers to catch the monkeys themselves and help them release the bothersome simians into the wild elsewhere. Fox News, "Villagers in India dress up as bears to scare off more than 2,000 monkeys," 30 Jan. 2020 An astronaut and his team crash on a world ruled by intelligent, talking simians who treat humans like animals. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 The simian examined the page briefly, then meandered a few feet to check out several small boys crowding the glass for a closer look. BostonGlobe.com, "A gorilla ambled up to the thick glass wall of its habitat at Franklin Park Zoo on Saturday afternoon and looked quizzically at the guitarist, violinist, and music stand on the other side.," 6 Oct. 2019 Caesar the ape leads simians in revolt against the governor enslaving them on future Earth. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019

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

Adjective

1607, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1861, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for simian

Adjective

Latin simia ape, from simus snub-nosed, from Greek simos

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Time Traveler for simian

Time Traveler

The first known use of simian was in 1607

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Statistics for simian

Last Updated

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Simian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/simian. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for simian

simian

adjective
How to pronounce simian (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of simian

 (Entry 1 of 2)

technical : of or relating to monkeys or apes
literary : like a monkey or ape

simian

noun

English Language Learners Definition of simian (Entry 2 of 2)

technical : a monkey or ape

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