1. Any of various apes of the subfamily Ponginae, which includes only the orangutans and their extinct relatives.
2. Any of various apes of the formerly recognized family Pongidae, which included the chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. No longer in scientific use.
[From New Latin Pongidae, former family name, from Pongo, type genus, from obsolete French pongo, great ape of Africa, of Bantu origin; akin to western dialectal Kongo mpungu, gorilla.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.