Definitions

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

  • noun Any of various small arboreal apes of the family Hylobatidae of Southeast Asia, having a slender body, long arms, and no tail.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The common name of the long-armed apes of the genus Hylobates, subfamily Hylobatinæ, and family Simiidæ.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any arboreal ape of the genus Hylobates, of which many species and varieties inhabit the East Indies and Southern Asia. They are tailless and without cheek pouches, and have very long arms, adapted for climbing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small ape of the family Hylobatidae with long limbs, which it uses to travel through rainforests by swinging from branch to branch.

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

  • noun English historian best known for his history of the Roman Empire (1737-1794)
  • noun smallest and most perfectly anthropoid arboreal ape having long arms and no tail; of southern Asia and East Indies

Etymologies

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

[French, applied to the animals by Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon in his Histoire Naturelle, in which the word is said to be a local name in a language of Southeast Asia.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French gibbon.

Examples

  • Someone yesterday asked (don't know who it was, as it was an anonymous post, though she did say she was from Canada) what a gibbon is - this is not some obscure English quilting term - this is the stuffed toy on Sarah's postcard - it's a kind of monkey with long arms.

    Hey, Canadian Girl!

  • Someone yesterday asked (don't know who it was, as it was an anonymous post, though she did say she was from Canada) what a gibbon is - this is not some obscure English quilting term - this is the stuffed toy on Sarah's postcard - it's a kind of monkey with long arms.

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • They said, We are interested in gibbon songs because, apart from human speech, these vocalisations provide a remarkable case of acoustic sophistication and versatility in primate communication.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • Of the apes, though many can stand upright, the gibbon is the only one that attempts to walk in this position.

    Man And His Ancestor A Study In Evolution

  • In this latter respect they recall the gibbon in its effort to walk.

    Man And His Ancestor A Study In Evolution

  • The buffalo and the gibbon are the largest in the islands, with a variety of monkeys.

    Four Young Explorers or, Sight-Seeing in the Tropics

  • Oh did I laugh She was known as the gibbon for while after that My ex wanted to know if CVR (T) came in right-hand drive for use in the UK.

    Army Rumour Service

  • Oh did I laugh She was known as the gibbon for while after that

    Army Rumour Service

  • These are bears, tigers, tons of birds and of course the black-crested gibbon, which is really the draw of the program.

    TravelPod.com TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at TravelPod.com

  • Do you feel better or worse for the news that a gibbon is your close cousin?

    American Scientist Online

Comments

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  • A nut-hook. --A Provincial Glossary, 1787. Provincial term from Berkshire England.

    May 5, 2011