great ape

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great ape (plural great apes)

  1. (archaic) A large non-human primate, such as a gorilla, an orangutan, or a chimpanzee. [to late 19C]
  2. Any member of the taxonomic family Hominidae, including gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee, excluding Homo.
    • 2005, Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale, page 114:
      Long before people thought in terms of evolution [] great apes were often confused with humans.
  3. Any member of the taxonomic family Hominidae, including Homo, and also many similar extinct species.
    • 2014, Laurel Braitman, Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves:
      This wrinkled layer of gray matter that's highly developed in humans and other great apes, as well as whales, dolphins, and elephants, helps coordinate complex cognitive processes.
    Synonym: hominid



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