Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A genus of extinct apes known from Miocene and Pliocene fossil remains found in Africa and Eurasia and believed to be ancestral to the living great apes, including humans.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of extinct anthropoid apes from the Miocene of France, of large size and among the highest simians, regarded by Gervais and Lartet as most closely related to the early ancestors of man. These apes were of nearly human stature, and were probably arboreal and frugivorous.

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

  • noun genus of Old World hominoids; Miocene and Pliocene

Etymologies

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

[New Latin Dryopithēcus, genus name : Greek drūs, oak (in reference to the apes' arboreal lifestyle and to the fossil remains of oak found in the same area as some of the first known specimens of the genus); see deru- in Indo-European roots + Greek pithēkos, ape.]

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