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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.


  • (UK) enPR: nē.ănʹdə.täl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dəˌtɑːl/,[1]
  • (US) enPR: nē.ănʹdər.thäl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dɚˌθɑːl/; enPR: nē.ănʹdər.täl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dɚˌtɑːl/,[1], IPA(key): /niˈændəɹθəl/
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Neanderthal ‎(not comparable)

  1. Of or pertaining to Homines neanderthalenses.
    The capacity of the Neanderthal skull was 10% larger than that of modern humans.
  2. Old-fashioned, opposed to change (in allusion to Homo neanderthalensis).
  3. Of or pertaining to the Neander Valley in Germany.

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Neanderthal ‎(plural Neanderthals)

  1. A specimen of the now extinct species Homo neanderthalensis.
  2. (pejorative) A primitive person.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Neanderthal” listed in the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Cambridge University Press 2009)