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Homo sapiens

[hoh-moh sey-pee-uh nz] /ˈhoʊ moʊ ˈseɪ pi ənz/
(italics) the species of bipedal primates to which modern humans belong, characterized by a brain capacity averaging 1400 cc (85 cubic in.) and by dependence upon language and the creation and utilization of complex tools.
Origin of Homo sapiens
1795-1805; < New Latin: rational man Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Homo sapiens
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And the professor makes a casual remark about Homo sapiens, and he points out the fang which is still to be seen in the jaw.

    Vagaries Axel Munthe
  • Was the oldest 'Homo sapiens' pliocene or miocene, or yet more ancient?

  • In any case, the result was the evolution of Homo sapiens, the man we are—a quite different fellow from the Neanderthaler.

  • Homo sapiens invented affection, and then followed sentimentality.

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • As ourselves, as specimens of Homo sapiens, as members of a society, how can we hope to have anything like an absolute change?

    Crome Yellow Aldous Huxley
  • The size of the brain in the existing races of Homo sapiens varies from 950

    Men of the Old Stone Age Henry Fairfield Osborn
  • But an extremely primitive race has survived until the present time to demonstrate the original type of Homo sapiens.

  • Thus the highly perfected motions of the thumb in Homo sapiens were not attained in Homo neanderthalensis.

    Men of the Old Stone Age Henry Fairfield Osborn
British Dictionary definitions for Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens

the specific name of modern man; the only extant species of the genus Homo. This species also includes extinct types of primitive man such as Cro-Magnon man See also man (sense 5)
Word Origin
New Latin, from Latin homo man + sapiens wise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Homo sapiens

1802, in William Turton's translation of Linnæus, coined in Modern Latin from Latin homo "man" (technically "male human," but in logical and scholastic writing "human being;" see homunculus) + sapiens, present participle of sapere "be wise" (see sapient). Used since in various Latin or pseudo-Latin combinations intended to emphasize some aspect of humanity, cf. Henri Bergson's Homo faber "man the tool-maker," in "L'Evolution Créatrice" (1907). Homo as a genus of the order Primates is first recorded 1797.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Homo sapiens in Science
Homo sapiens
The modern species of humans. Archaic forms of Homo sapiens probably evolved around 300,000 years ago or earlier in Africa, and anatomically modern fossils are known from about 100,000 years ago. All humans now living belong to the subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens. The closest living relative of Homo sapiens is the chimpanzee. See more at archaic Homo sapiens, Cro-Magnon, Neanderthal.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Homo sapiens in Culture
Homo sapiens [(hoh-moh say-pee-uhnz)]

The biological classification of modern humans. Homo sapiens is Latin for “the wise human” or “the clever human.” The earliest Homo sapiens was Neanderthal, who developed about 150,000 years ago. Sometimes modern humans are further classified into the subspecies of Homo sapiens neanderthalis (Neanderthals) and Homo sapiens sapiens (Cro-Magnons and present-day humans). (See Linnean classification.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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