Next time you are in need of a subtle insult that will completely go over your oafish brother’s head, accuse him of being just barely anthropoid, or somewhat resembling a human.

Anthropoid is formed from the Greek word for human being, anthrōpos and the ending -oid, meaning “resembling.” Anthropoid can describe fictional animals that look like humans, like the three bears in the Goldilocks story, standing upright and wearing their Sunday best. The word also can describe objects that have been decorated to have human features, such as an anthropoid mask with a painted-on face (there’s a good insult for your great-aunt who wears too much make-up).

Definitions of anthropoid
  1. adjective
    resembling human beings
    synonyms: manlike
    having human form or attributes as opposed to those of animals or divine beings
  2. adjective
    resembling apes
    synonyms: anthropoidal, apelike
    not human; not belonging to or produced by or appropriate to human beings
  3. noun
    any member of the suborder Anthropoidea including monkeys and apes and hominids
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    type of:
    any placental mammal of the order Primates; has good eyesight and flexible hands and feet
  4. noun
    person who resembles a nonhuman primate
    synonyms: ape
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    type of:
    someone unable to adapt to their circumstances
Word Family
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