1. Relating to, characteristic of, or resembling a monkey or an ape: humans and other simian primates.
2. Relating to, characteristic of, or resembling a monkey or a nonhuman ape: caricatures of politicians with simian features.
1. A monkey or an ape.
2. A monkey or a nonhuman ape.
[From Latin sīmia, ape, ultimately (probably via the Greek personal name Sīmiās, originally a nickname for a snub-nosed man, perhaps also given to pet apes in reference to their appearance) from Greek sīmos, snub-nosed and of unknown origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.