Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several short-tailed monkeys of the genus Macaca of southeast Asia, Japan, Gibraltar, and northern Africa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a group of Old World monkeys of the genus Macaca.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of short-tailed monkeys of the genus Macaca (formerly Macacus), found in rocky regions of Asia and Africa.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A monkey of the genus Macacus; one of the several kinds of monkeys coming between baboons and the African mangabeys.

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

  • n. short-tailed monkey of rocky regions of Asia and Africa

Etymologies

French, from Portuguese macaco; see macaco.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French macaque, from Portuguese macaco, from Bantu makaku ("some monkeys") ‘some monkeys’, from ma- numeric prefix + kaku ‘monkey’. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A Japanese macaque is on the loose, having escaped from the Bergeron Animal Sanctuary.

    Archive 2008-09-01

  • Crop damage by the macaque is widespread; patterns of crop damage are similar across altitudinal zones and do not seem to be correlated with macaque density.

    Archive 2008-12-01

  • The word macaque has also been used as a racial slur.

    Today's chimpanzee news.

  • It's a French slur, derived from the word macaque, as in monkey, used against the dark-skinned people of North Africa.

    08/15/2006

  • It's a derivative of macaque, which is a type of monkey, apparently commonly addressed at Moroccans and other N.

    VA-SEN: "Macaca" -- The Movie!

  • Rhesus monkeys have long been used by scientists trying to understand human physiology (a macaque was the first primate ever to rocket into the stratosphere, and we owe our ability to identify human blood types to research done on rhesus monkeys).

    Monkeys Are Machiavellian, Too - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

  • * To be fair to Senator Allen, the monkey is actually called a macaque of the genus macaca.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • If the fact that there are 550 hairs in the average human eyebrow prompts you to feel superior to the macaque, which is 550 hairs short, you conceal it well.

    Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

  • The remark is considered a racial slur in some countries, referring to a macaque, a kind of monkey.

    BusinessWeek.com -- Top News

  • It is possible that the term "Rock Apes" the Marines spoke of refers to a different type of monkey, the macaque, that is also found in this area.

    NYT > Home Page

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Mouthbreathing German tourists with vacant eyes and macaque teeth clattering their goose gabble. . ." from "Apples and Pears" by Guy Davenport

    January 19, 2010