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[nee-an-der-thawl, -tawl, -tahl; ney-ahn-der-tahl] /niˈæn dərˌθɔl, -ˌtɔl, -ˌtɑl; neɪˈɑn dərˌtɑl/
of or relating to Neanderthal man.
(often lowercase) Informal. primitive, unenlightened, or reactionary; culturally or intellectually backward.
(often lowercase) Informal.
  1. an unenlightened or ignorant person; barbarian.
  2. a reactionary; a person with very old-fashioned ideas.
Also, Neandertal
[nee-an-der-tawl, -tahl, ney-ahn-der-tahl] /niˈæn dərˌtɔl, -ˌtɑl, neɪˈɑn dərˌtɑl/ (Show IPA),
(for defs 1, 3).
Origin of Neanderthal
1860-65; after Neanderthal, valley in Germany, near Düsseldorf, where evidence of Neanderthal man was first found
Related forms
Neanderthaler, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for more neanderthal


relating to or characteristic of Neanderthal man
primitive; uncivilized
(informal) ultraconservative; reactionary
a person showing any such characteristics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for more neanderthal



1861, in reference to a type of extinct hominid, from German Neanderthal "Neander Valley," name of a gorge near Düsseldorf where humanoid fossils were identified in 1856. The place name is from the Graecized form of Joachim Neumann (literally "new man," Greek *neo-ander), 1650-1680, German pastor, poet and hymn-writer, who made this a favorite spot in the 1670s. Adopting a classical form of one's surname was a common practice among educated Germans in this era. As a noun, by 1915; as a type f a big, brutish, stupid person from 1926.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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more neanderthal in Culture
Neanderthal [(nee-an-duhr-thawl, nee-an-duhr-tawl)]

The ancient and now extinct relatives of modern humans. Neanderthals lived in Europe about 150,000 years ago and were the earliest form of the human species, Homo sapiens.

Note: The term Neanderthal is sometimes used to refer to a person who is thought to have primitive or unenlightened ideas: “I tried talking politics to Joe, but he's a real Neanderthal.”
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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