One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small, slender tree-dwelling ape with long powerful arms and loud hooting calls, native to the forests of SE Asia.
- ‘Those species were chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon, macaque and owl monkey.’
- ‘The four orang-utans and two gibbons were returned to Indonesia after being illegally poached and smuggled to Japan eight months ago.’
- ‘Today it comprises humans, the gibbons, and the great apes (orangutan, chimpanzee, and gorilla).’
- ‘Over the years, the temple has became a famous sanctuary for tigers, deer, boars, peacocks, fowl, gibbons and horses.’
- ‘Only five percent of mammals are thought to be socially monogamous, including gibbons, jackals, and tamarins.’
Late 18th century: from French, from an Indian dialect word.
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