Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various large, tailless Old World primates of the family Pongidae, including the chimpanzee, gorilla, gibbon, and orangutan.
  • n. A monkey.
  • n. A mimic or imitator.
  • n. Informal A clumsy or boorish person.
  • transitive v. To mimic slavishly but often with an absurd result. See Synonyms at imitate.
  • idiom go ape Informal To become wildly excited or enthusiastic: went ape at the party; goes ape over Thai cuisine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A primate of the clade Hominoidea, generally larger than monkeys and distinguished from them by having no tail.
  • n. Any such primate other than a human.
  • n. An uncivilised person.
  • v. To behave like an ape.
  • v. To imitate; mimic.
  • adj. Wild; crazy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A quadrumanous mammal, esp. of the family Simiadæ, having teeth of the same number and form as in man, and possessing neither a tail nor cheek pouches. The name is applied esp. to species of the genus Hylobates, and is sometimes used as a general term for all Quadrumana. The higher forms, the gorilla, chimpanzee, and ourang, are often called anthropoid apes or man apes.
  • n. One who imitates servilely (in allusion to the manners of the ape); a mimic.
  • n. A dupe.
  • transitive v. To mimic, as an ape imitates human actions; to imitate or follow servilely or irrationally.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To imitate servilely; mimic, as an ape imitates human actions.
  • Synonyms Mimic, etc.
  • n. A monkey; a quadrumanous animal; some animal of the old order Quadrumana; a member of one of the modern families Simiidœ, Cynopithecidœ, and Cebidœ, especially one which attracts attention by mimicking man.
  • n. More specifically, a tailless monkey; a monkey with a very short tail; a magot, macaque, or pig-tailed baboon: as, the Barbary ape (Inuus ecaudatus); the Celebes black ape (Cynopithecus niger).
  • n. Technically, a man-like monkey; a simian proper, or a member of the modern family Simiidœ, forming a kind of connecting link between man and the lower animals, and hence termed anthroid (which see).
  • n. An imitator; a mimic.
  • n. A mischievous or silly mimic; hence, a fool; a dupe.
  • n. Gunnera petaloidea, a plant of the high mountain slopes of Hawaii, bearing large, broad, reniform leaves from two to three feet in width.
  • n. A name in the Hawaiian and Society islands of Alocasia macrorhiza, an aroid plant with large, oval, sagittate leaves.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. imitate uncritically and in every aspect
  • v. represent in or produce a caricature of
  • n. any of various primates with short tails or no tail at all
  • n. person who resembles a nonhuman primate
  • n. someone who copies the words or behavior of another

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English apa.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English apa ("ape, monkey"), from Proto-Germanic *apô (“monkey, ape”), from Proto-Indo-European *abō- (“ape”). Cognate with Dutch aap ("monkey, ape"), Low German ape ("ape"), German Affe ("monkey, ape"), Swedish apa ("ape"), Icelandic api ("ape"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • May be they are veridical observations of some enormous rare ape mistaken for an ˜ape - man™ or may be just erroneous observations of sociopaths in Yak coats?

    Semantic Challenges to Realism

  • Chuen of the Maya calendar, which corresponds to the day Ozomatli, the ape, in the Aztec calendar, seems to indicate that the singular head of C is that of an _ape_, whose lateral nasal cavity (peculiar to the American ape or monkey) is occasionally represented plainly in the hieroglyph picture.

    Representation of Deities of the Maya Manuscripts Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, Vol. 4, No. 1

  • The project was started by the philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri, who argued that the ape is the closest genetic relative to humans — that it displays emotions such as love, fear, anxiety and jealousy — and should be protected by similar laws.

    Spanish Parliament Approved ‘Human Rights’ for Apes | Disinformation

  • On the top of this tree, in among the branches, sat a monkey -- at least so Ailie called it; but the term ape or baboon would have been more appropriate, for the creature was a very large one, and, if the expression of its countenance indicated in any degree the feelings of its heart, also a very fierce one -- an exceedingly ferocious one indeed.

    The Red Eric

  • 1 Due to its ambiguous nature, the term ape is less suitable as a means of describing taxonomic relationships.

    Ardi is a million years older than Lucy - The Panda's Thumb

  • (#2: The giant ape is defeated after the woman he groped and stalked wins a multi-million dollar harassment suit.)

    SF Tidbits for 7/5/08

  • A few other primates, such as the Barbary Ape, have the word ape in their common names usually to indicate lack of a tail, but they are not regarded as true apes.

    Ardi is a million years older than Lucy - The Panda's Thumb

  • Why a fit, tall & healthy female ape is not as attractive as a cover girl?

    Darwin Doesn't Like Ugly Women?

  • Krause, as already commented at "The ape is on my father's side, mind you", regarding John Hawks, we are definitely into the "Post-Wedgin 'Away" era.

    Another peer reviewer

  • She answered, “This whom thou deemest an ape is a young man, a clever and polite, a wise and learned and the son of a King; but he is ensorcelled and the Ifrit Jirjaris, who is of the seed of Iblis, cast a spell upon him, after putting to death his own wife the daughter of King Ifitamus lord of the Islands of Abnus.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

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Comments

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  • In Italian, this word means bee.

    May 22, 2010

  • A very common crossword puzzle answer.

    February 1, 2007

  • as in "to mimic" -- it's just not very interesting when only speaking of the animal.

    January 31, 2007