The Alternative English Dictionary: ape

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Entry definition

ape {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English ape, from Old English apa, from Proto-Germanic *apô, possibly derived from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ep- 〈*h₂ep-〉, compare Proto-Celtic *abū, if the word originally referred to a "water sprite". Traditionally assumed to be an ancient loanword instead, ultimately probably from an unidentified non-Indo-European language of regions in Africa or Asia where monkeys are native. Cognate with Scots aip, Western Frisian aap, Dutch aap, Low German Ape, German Affe, Swedish apa, Icelandic api. pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /eɪp/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A primate of the clade Hominoidea, generally larger than monkey and distinguished from them by having no tail.
  2. Any such primate other than a human.
  3. (derogatory) An uncivilised person.
  • See also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To behave like an ape.
  2. (transitive) To imitate; mimic.
    • 1961, J. A. Philip, "Mimesis in the Sophistês of Plato," Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, vol. 92, p. 454, It is not conceived as a mere “aping” in externals nor as an enacting in the sense of assuming a foreign role.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Wild; crazy. We were ape over the new look. He went ape when he heard the bad news.
  • EAP
  • EPA
  • PAE
  • pea

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