Meaning of Neanderthal in English:


Pronunciation /nɪˈandətɑːl/

Translate Neanderthal into Spanish


  • 1

    (also Neanderthal man)
    An extinct species of human that was widely distributed in ice-age Europe between c.120,000 and 35,000 years ago, with a receding forehead and prominent brow ridges. The Neanderthals were associated with the Mousterian flint industry of the Middle Palaeolithic.

    Homo neanderthalensis; now usually regarded as a separate species from H. sapiens and probably at the end of a different evolutionary line

    ‘Eventually we dominated and may have caused the extinction of another earlier human species, the Neanderthals.’
    • ‘In my view, modern humans evolved in situ from Neanderthals in Europe, as they did from robust forms elsewhere.’
    • ‘Modern humans probably exterminated the world's other archaic humans, the Neanderthals in Europe.’
    • ‘Mousterian culture is associated with Neanderthals in Europe.’
    • ‘In Eastern Europe, the latest Neanderthals show no modern human features and the earliest modern humans show no Neanderthal features.’
    • ‘In fact, anatomically modern humans existed at least 160,000 years ago, and Neanderthals became extinct only 30,000 years ago.’
    • ‘Are we talking here about there being a species like the Neanderthals, who managed to coevolve with humans, or the arrival of another intelligent species either from within or without Earth?’
    • ‘It was these anatomically modern humans which joined or supplanted the Neanderthals in Europe some 40,000 years ago.’
    • ‘Within 40,000 years Neanderthals had become extinct throughout Europe.’
    • ‘It's pretty clear that it happened in Europe, which was occupied by both humans and Neanderthals for several thousand years.’
    • ‘Was there any interbreeding with Neanderthals as modern humans moved into Europe?’
    • ‘It is now thought that in Indonesia, Homo erectus lived alongside Homo sapiens as recently as 40,000 years ago, when Neanderthals still inhabited Europe and the Middle East.’
    • ‘In Europe, indigenous Neanderthals were replaced by the ancestors of modern humans only about 30,000 to 40,000 years ago.’
    • ‘But modern humans and Neanderthals are now known to have co-existed in Europe 30,000 years ago.’
    • ‘And the later material is closely related to the Neanderthals who were a species that lost out when Homo sapiens finally entered Europe.’
    • ‘He claimed it was found in a peat bog and was a vital missing link between modern humans and Neanderthals.’
    • ‘I suspect that apart from violent incidents and perhaps occasional vendettas between individuals or clans, modern humans and Neanderthals coexisted and to some extent mixed, traded, and interbred.’
    • ‘Well, that's when the Neanderthals were around in Europe and I'm not sure whether the Aborigines would have got to Australia by then but it was a long time back.’
    • ‘This enabled them to track the movements of both Neanderthals and early humans.’
    • ‘Over 120 pieces of flint waste show that Neanderthals had made butchery tools on site to carve up the mammoths.’
  • 2An uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth person (typically used of a man)

    ‘the stereotype of the mechanic as a macho Neanderthal’
    • ‘Proposed Slogan: ‘We Don't Think All you Religious Neanderthals are Credulous Bumpkins!’
    • ‘Maybe I should go back and apologize to the meathead nitwit Neanderthal!’
    • ‘Would the knuckle dragging, brain dead, Neanderthal who removed the hanging basket from the exterior of Rock House please return it.’
    • ‘It shouldn't be a big surprise that Russell Crowe does Neanderthal boofhead spoiling for a fight extremely well.’
    • ‘After 20 minutes, one Neanderthal close to us screamed out: ‘Coyle, you are scum.’’
    lout, boor, barbarian, Neanderthal, churl, clown, gawk, hulk, bumpkin, yokel


  • 1Relating to Neanderthals.

    ‘a Neanderthal axe’
    • ‘Researchers at York University have made it possible for an international team to extract and sequence protein from a 75,000-year-old Neanderthal fossil discovered in Shanidar Cave in Iraq.’
    • ‘A digger uncovered what could be Britain's best-preserved Neanderthal butchery site, which included the remains of mammoths and other ancient beasts as well as hand axes used by early humans.’
    • ‘The Neanderthal specimen, known as Mezmaiskaya Child, that Goodwin used to prove the existence of the missing link was around 29,000 years old and came from the northern caucuses.’
    • ‘But in Neanderthal society, things are done differently.’
    • ‘She was a respected archaeologist who discovered the Tabun skull, one of the most famous Neanderthal skulls, and became most famous for her work popularising the science.’
    • ‘After examining a fairly well preserved Neanderthal skeleton, he concluded that it belonged to an ape-like creature that was barely capable of standing upright.’
    • ‘Also, human living spaces appear to be partitioned according to function while Neanderthal settlements are unorganized.’
    • ‘He has fought with beasts in the Neanderthal era, with infidels in the Crusades, with demons in his mind, and finally, with men in the twentieth century.’
    • ‘In fact even Neanderthal fossils have been found at this site and at other locations nearby.’
    • ‘The Neanderthal people were roaming hunter-gatherers rather than village-dwellers.’
    • ‘Man has been building bridges since the first rotten tree fell across a stream and set in motion the Neanderthal brain cells.’
    • ‘Mithen's work coincides with the first detailed study of a reconstructed Neanderthal skeleton.’
    • ‘In my reality, people have evolved from the Neanderthal age, where we had to kill to survive.’
    • ‘Even their Neanderthal cousins and the Cro-Magnon humans (the Aurignacians) did not appear until some 230 000 years ago.’
    • ‘The company has invested the money to move a sewage treatment works away from Creswell Crags - the most northerly place on earth to be occupied by Neanderthal hunters during the last Ice Age.’
    • ‘He believes that we all still carry Neanderthal genes because, contrary to traditional belief, the three waves of human expansion out of Africa did not replace one another but interbred and merged culturally and genetically.’
    • ‘One of a Neanderthal baby's first words was probably ‘papa’, concludes one of the most comprehensive attempts to date to make out what the first human language was like.’
    • ‘They could also tolerate a high-protein meat diet, as indicated by stable isotope analysis of Neanderthal bones.’
    • ‘Environmental evidence suggests the site was once a series of ponds used as a watering place, although it is unclear whether the mammoths died of natural causes and were later scavenged, or were killed by Neanderthal hunters.’
    • ‘Arsuaga co-directs the largest Neanderthal dig in the world, at the Sierra de Atapuerca in Spain where a new species, Homo antecessor, was also discovered.’
  • 2Uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth (typically used of a man)

    ‘they were pushed back by Neanderthal security guards’
    • ‘your attitude to women is Neanderthal’
    • ‘I just don't want to be one of those Neanderthal guys who just knock women over the head and drag them back to their caves, as it were.’
    • ‘I will not allow myself to think like my Neanderthal father.’
    • ‘It feels like a modern Spanish tapas bar in buzzing Barcelona, except for the Neanderthal males, of course.’
    • ‘Oh, yeah, sure, you still run across a few guys with some Neanderthal notions, but it's never a real problem.’
    • ‘She yearns for the day when Republicans can let go of the Neanderthal hatred of the ‘other.’’
    • ‘They are unsightly Neanderthal vermin who will be replaced shortly in our lifetime by experts whose skill at social engineering will make the family a defunct nightmare.’
    • ‘I have lived in Italy where the demographic crisis is yet more acute, as some of the more Neanderthal Italian politicians fail to recognize that they need to accept that their country needs people from Africa, Asia and elsewhere.’
    • ‘There is a petty-mindedness in this attitude which cannot but be profoundly depressing for anyone who hoped this parliament might be a little more advanced than the Neanderthal assembly in the Palace of Westminster.’
    • ‘Despite a rash of serious eye injuries over the past few years, Cherry still spews out his Neanderthal approach to the game of hockey.’
    • ‘At a time when parenting skills were at the Neanderthal level, threats of Hell may have been a parent's only recourse.’
    • ‘Glennon said that the formation of this majority represented a Neanderthal way of controlling the council at all costs.’
    • ‘All it means is that New Labour talks the talks when it comes to gender pay equality, but it still allows employers to walk the same old Neanderthal walk.’
    • ‘Those Neanderthal knuckle-draggers known as bouncers are usually the least popular people at any gig.’
    • ‘The Neanderthal behaviour of some competitors might be perfectly suited to cave-dwelling.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, a couple of Neanderthal adults behind me were bickering over a seating arrangement.’
    • ‘Until last week it could be argued this was only a Neanderthal mentality among a very small percentage of players.’
    • ‘But the Neanderthal section of supporters object to his attacks on The Old Firm.’
    • ‘Is this the Neanderthal way of saying hello these days?’
    • ‘You just like to see me and that Neanderthal friend of yours locking horns over you.’
    • ‘Please spare me the details of your Neanderthal tendencies!’
    uncivilized, uncultured, uncultivated, unrefined, unpolished, unsophisticated, common, low, plebeian, philistine, rough, coarse, provincial, rustic, crude, gross, loutish, hooligan, boorish, oafish


Mid 19th century from Neanderthal, the name of a region in Germany (now Neandertal) where remains of Neanderthal man were found.