noun

  • 1The genus of primates of which modern humans (Homo sapiens) are the present-day representatives.

    The genus Homo is believed to have existed for at least two million years, and modern humans (H. sapiens sapiens) first appeared in the Upper Palaeolithic. Among several extinct species are H. habilis, H. erectus, and H. neanderthalensis

    • ‘By the time the genus Homo appears in the fossil record, between 1 and 2 million years ago, fruit had been marginalized, and largely replaced by meat and by foods such as roots and tubers.’
    • ‘That debate was important because a long-standing hypothesis holds that long-distance walking migrations played an important role in the evolution of our genus Homo.’
    • ‘Despite its smaller body size, smaller brain, and mixture of primitive and advanced anatomical features, the new species falls firmly within the genus Homo.’
    • ‘But other anatomical features resembled those of a more recent archaic human called Homo erectus.’
    • ‘Thus the kingdom Animalia contained the class Vertebrata, which contained the order Primates, which contained the genus Homo with the species sapiens - humanity.’
    • ‘The genus Homo, appearing first in Africa, spread rapidly into Eurasia during the early Pleistocene.’
    • ‘The genus Homo adapted flexibly to new environments and ate a variety of foods, heralding the rise of people.’
    • ‘The first hominid mammals appeared about 5 million years ago, while the genus Homo is known to have existed for at least 2 million years.’
    • ‘They even hint at the possibility that no australopithecine species was ancestral to the genus Homo.’
    • ‘However, they caution that the small brain and other features of the new skull suggest a close resemblance to Homo habilis, which was more apelike with a thin brow, huge canine teeth, and long, dangling arms.’
    • ‘So close is the connection that living chimp species belong to the genus Homo, just as people do, contend Morris Goodman of Wayne State University in Detroit and his colleagues.’
    • ‘Grouping them all in the genus Homo could be very confusing, Wood said.’
    • ‘The move would make chimps full members of our genus Homo, along with Neandertals, and all other human-like fossil species.’
    • ‘Thirty thousand years ago two species of the genus Homo lived in Europe.’
    • ‘While modern people weren't on the scene at that time, early humans called Homo erectus were living in the region.’
    • ‘We are the only members of our genus, Homo, on the planet; and we are interfertile world-wide.’
    • ‘This estimate coincides with the first appearance of the genus Homo in the fossil record.’
    • ‘In their study, Ackermann and Cheverud looked at patterns of facial variation both within and between members of the genus Homo and australopiths.’
    • ‘And there's only one time in human evolution that all that happens; that is, 1.9 million years ago with the evolution of the genus Homo.’
    • ‘Several species of our own genus, Homo, which goes back at least 2 million years, have now been identified.’
    • ‘I must admit I am surprised that the discoverers of the new species have placed it in our genus, Homo.’
    • ‘Some researches go so far as to include chimpanzees and gorillas in the genus Homo along with humans, but recent genetic evidence suggests that the human relationship to these species is not as close as previously thought.’
    • ‘There is no reputable evidence of human life at the time, or at any time until about 2.5 million years ago, the age of the oldest known fossils in the genus Homo.’
    1. 1.1with Latin or pseudo-Latin modifier Denoting kinds of modern human, often humorously.
      ‘a textbook example of Homo neuroticus’
      • ‘The oft-mentioned Jack Abramoff may be the prime examplar of that species of Washington operator - Homo bagmanus.’
      • ‘Once Homo censorious draws blood, his appetite becomes insatiable.’
      • ‘To give a simple example, imagine Homo economicus searching for a mate, trying to find a woman to marry.’
      • ‘The book attempts ‘a kind of psychography of Homo ludens,’ the human at play.’

Origin

Latin, ‘man’.