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

  • n. An extinct human species (Homo neanderthalensis) or subspecies (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) living during the late Pleistocene Epoch throughout most of Europe and parts of Asia and northern Africa and associated with Middle Paleolithic tools.
  • n. An individual belonging to this species or subspecies.
  • n. Slang A crude, boorish, or slow-witted person.
  • adj. Of, having to do with, or resembling Neanderthals.
  • adj. Slang Crude, boorish, or slow-witted.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to Homines neanderthalenses.
  • adj. Old-fashioned, opposed to change (in allusion to Homo neanderthalensis).
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Neander Valley in Germany.
  • n. A specimen of the now extinct species Homo neanderthalensis.
  • n. A primitive person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or named from, the Neanderthal, a valley in the Rhine Province, in which were found parts of a skeleton of an early type of man. The skull is characterized by extreme dolichocephaly, flat, retreating forehead, with closed frontal sutures, and enormous superciliary ridges. The cranial capacity is estimated at about 1,220 cubic centimeters, being about midway between that of the Pithecanthropus and modern man.
  • adj. Similar to or reminiscent of a neanderthal human; troglodytic; primitive and uncultured.
  • proper n. A neanderthal human being; a member of the race Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.
  • proper n. One resembling a neanderthal human; a troglodyte; a cave man.
  • proper n. A person of primitive, unenlightened or uneducated opinions or attitudes; one with a regressive social or political outlook; -- used disparagingly.


After Neanderthal (Neandertal), a valley of western Germany near Düsseldorf.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the name of the German valley where Neanderthal 1 was discovered in 1856. The Düsseltal (from German Düssel, a small tributary of the River Rhine + tal ("valley")) itself was renamed (from Das Gesteins ("The Rockiness") and/or Das Hundsklipp ("The Cliff of Dogs")) in the early 19th century to Neandershöhle ("Neander’s Hollow"), and again in 1850 to Neanderthal ("Neander Valley"); both names were in honour of the German Calvinist theologian and hymn writer Joachim Neander (1650–1680). The surname Neander is a Romanisation of the Greek translation of the original German surname Neumann ("New man"), for which reason Homo neanderthalensis is sometimes called New man in English. (Wiktionary)



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