orang-utan

orangutan

[aw-rang-oo-tan, oh-rang-, uh-rang-]
noun
a large, long-armed anthropoid ape, Pongo pygmaeus, of arboreal habits, inhabiting Borneo and Sumatra: an endangered species.
Also, orang-utan, orangutang, orang-outang [aw-rang-oo-tang, oh-rang-, uh-rang-] .
Also called orang.


Origin:
1690–1700; < Neo-Latin, Dutch orang outang, apparently < pidgin or bazaar Malay: literally, forest man (Malay orang man, person + (h)utan forest

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World English Dictionary
orang-utan or orang-utang (ɔːˌræŋuːˈtæn, ˌɔːræŋˈuːtæn, ɔːˌræŋuːˈtæŋ, ˌɔːræŋˈuːtæŋ)
 
n
Sometimes shortened to: orang a large anthropoid ape, Pongo pygmaeus, of the forests of Sumatra and Borneo, with shaggy reddish-brown hair and strong arms
 
[C17: from Malay orang hutan, from ōrang man + hūtan forest]
 
orang-utang or orang-utang
 
n
 
[C17: from Malay orang hutan, from ōrang man + hūtan forest]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

orangutan
1699, from Du. orang-outang, from Malay orang utan, lit. "man of the woods," from orang "man" + utan, hutan "forest, wild." It is possible that the word originally was used by town-dwellers on Java to describe savage forest tribes of the Sunda Islands and that Europeans misunderstood it to mean the ape.
The name is not now applied in Malay to the animal, but there is evidence that it was so in 17c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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