- any of various large, terrestrial monkeys of the genus Papio and related genera, of Africa and Arabia, having a doglike muzzle, large cheek pouches, and a short tail.
- a coarse, ridiculous, or brutish person, especially one of low intelligence.
- any of several medium-sized omnivorous Old World monkeys of the genus Papio (or Chaeropithecus) and related genera, inhabiting open rocky ground or wooded regions of Africa. They have an elongated muzzle, large teeth, and a fairly long tailSee also hamadryas, gelada
type of ape, c.1400, babewyn, earlier “a grotesque figure used in architecture or decoration” (early 14c.), from French babouin “baboon,” from Old French baboin “ape,” earlier “simpleton, dimwit, fool” (13c.), also “gaping figure (such as a gargoyle),” so perhaps from Old French baboue “grimacing;” or perhaps it is imitative of the ape’s babbling speech-like cries. Also cf. -oon. German Pavian “baboon” is from Dutch baviaan, from Middle Dutch baubijn, a borrowing of the Old French word.