AskDefine | Define macaque

Dictionary Definition

macaque n : short-tailed monkey of rocky regions of Asia and Africa

User Contributed Dictionary



From French macaque, from Portuguese macaco, from Bantu makaku ‘some monkeys’, from ma- numeric prefix + kaku ‘monkey’.


  • /məˈkɑk/ (US)
  • /məˈkɑ:k/, /məˈkæk/ (UK)


  1. Any of a group of Old World monkeys of the genus Macaca.


any monkey of the family Macaca

See also



From Portuguese macaco, from Bantu makaku ‘some monkeys’, from ma- numeric prefix + kaku ‘monkey’.




fr-noun m

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The macaques () constitute a genus (Macaca, /məˈkækə/) of Old World monkeys of the subfamily Cercopithecinae.
Aside from humans (genus Homo), the macaques are the most widespread primate genus, ranging from northern Africa to Japan. Twenty-two macaque species are currently recognised, and they include some of the monkeys best known to non-zoologists, such as the Rhesus Macaque (as the Rhesus Monkey), Macaca mulatta, and the Barbary Macaque (as the Barbary Ape), M. sylvanus, a colony of which lives on the Rock of Gibraltar. Although several species lack tails, and their common names therefore refer to them as apes, these are true monkeys, with no greater relationship to the true apes than any other Old World monkeys.
Several species of macaque are used extensively in animal testing.
In the late 1990s it was discovered that nearly all (circa 90%) pet or captive macaques are carriers of the herpes-B virus. This virus is harmless to macaques, but infections of humans, while rare, are potentially fatal. A 2005 University of Toronto study showed that urban performing macaques also carried simian foamy virus, suggesting they could be involved in the species-to-species jump of similar retroviruses to humans.

Species list

Genus Macaca
macaque in Catalan: Macaco
macaque in Danish: Makakaber
macaque in German: Makaken
macaque in Spanish: Macaca
macaque in Esperanto: Makako
macaque in French: Macaque
macaque in Ido: Makako
macaque in Italian: Macaca
macaque in Georgian: მაკაკი
macaque in Lithuanian: Makakos
macaque in Dutch: Makaken
macaque in Japanese: マカク属
macaque in Polish: Macaca
macaque in Portuguese: Macaca
macaque in Russian: Макаки
macaque in Sundanese: Beruk
macaque in Finnish: Makakit
macaque in Swedish: Makaker
macaque in Chinese: 獼猴
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