See also: neanderthal


Alternative formsEdit


From obsolete German Neanderthal, now spelled Neandertal, the name of a valley (German Tal, older also spelled Thal) near Düsseldorf where the first Neanderthal was discovered in 1856. A hollow near the valley was known as Neanderhöhle (Neander Hollow) and Neandershöhle (Neander’s Hollow) in the early 19th century, and the valley had been renamed to Neanderthal in 1850, in honour of the German Calvinist theologian and hymn writer Joachim Neander (1650–1680). Before, the valley was known as das Gesteins (literally The Rocks) and Hundsklipp (literally Dog Cliff).

The name of Joachim Neander is based on the Ancient Greek translation (νέος (néos) + ᾰ̓νήρ (anḗr)) of his original surname Neumann (Newman).


  • (UK) enPR: nē.ănʹdə.täl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dəˌtɑːl/,[1]
  • (US) enPR: nē.ănʹdər.thäl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dɚˌθɑːl/; enPR: nē.ănʹdər.täl', IPA(key): /niːˈæn.dɚˌtɑːl/,[1], IPA(key): /niˈæn.dɚ.θəl/
  • (file)


Neanderthal (not comparable)

  1. Of or pertaining to Homo neanderthalensis.
    The capacity of the Neanderthal skull was 10% larger than that of modern humans.
    • 2019, Razib Khan, Arabia between Africa and Eurasia[1]:
      [] In short, many assessments conclude that East Asians have more Neanderthal ancestry than Europeans, who have more Neanderthal ancestry than people in the Middle East.
  2. (by extension) Old-fashioned, opposed to change.
  3. Of or pertaining to the Neander Valley in Germany.



Neanderthal (plural Neanderthals)

  1. A specimen of the now extinct species Homo neanderthalensis.
    • 2014, Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Picador, →ISBN, page 250-251:
      These injuries may reflect the rigors of hunting with the Neanderthals' limited repertoire of weapons; the Neanderthals never seem to have developed projectiles, so they would have to have gotten more or less on top of their prey in order to kill them.
  2. (derogatory) A primitive, savage or uncivilized person.

Derived termsEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 Neanderthal” in Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Cambridge University Press, 2009

Further readingEdit



Proper nounEdit

Neanderthal n (genitive Neanderthals)

  1. Obsolete spelling of Neandertal

Usage notesEdit

Derived termsEdit