Definition of colobus in US English:


(also colobus monkey)


  • A slender leaf-eating African monkey with silky fur, a long tail, and very small or absent thumbs.

    Genera Colobus and Procolobus, family Cercopithecidae: several species

    • ‘Animals include duikers, eland and colobus, vervet and blue monkeys.’
    • ‘There are also thousands of fossils of animals, such as colobus monkeys, pigs, birds, rodents, and even carnivores like hyenas and big cats.’
    • ‘The forest contains a wealth of birds and other animals like the bushbuck which are easily glimpsed between ancient cedar trees or the striking black and white colobus monkeys climbing along their branches.’
    • ‘At least one species of monkey, the red colobus, was hunted to extinction, in part because logging roads gave hunters greater access to their previously unreachable habitat.’
    • ‘They began by sequencing the SEMG2 gene in humans, chimpanzees, pygmy chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans, gibbons, macaques, colobus monkeys, and spider monkeys.’


Modern Latin, from Greek kolobos ‘cut short’.