Oftentimes monkeys move or jump from one tree to another using their hands and feet. I am okay with calling it "jumping" but I wonder if there is a name for the specific kind of movement. Does that have a name?

  • You could also say they leap from tree to tree. Could you give an example sentence showing how you would like to use the word? You could use "jump" where you want the word to be. Aug 26, 2020 at 23:24
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    Monkeys swing through the trees. Only Anthropologists brachiate.
    – Strawberry
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:13
  • Doesn't that depend on the type or movement? Monkeys drop, "fly" or fling themselves, jump, leap or spring from branch to branch. How is that a "specific kind of movement"? Aug 27, 2020 at 21:18

4 Answers 4


That is called brachiation and they're brachiating or simply swinging.

Swinging is much more predominant than brachiating. Brachiating is more likely to be used by Primatologists.

Brachiation or arm swinging, is a form of arboreal locomotion in which primates swing from tree limb to tree limb using only their arms. [Wikipedia]

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    Note that this is a fairly obscure word that wouldn't be familiar to most native speakers who are not primatologists. Aug 26, 2020 at 12:46
  • The only place I've ever heard the word "Brachiation" was in a college-level anthropology class...
    – Ron Jensen
    Aug 26, 2020 at 21:09
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    "Brachiation" is used as a term in robotic locomotion as well.
    – RLH
    Aug 26, 2020 at 22:29
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    @CanadianYankee I don't think it's that obscure. I'm not a primatologist, and this answer was my first thought when I saw this question.
    – nick012000
    Aug 27, 2020 at 5:22
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    People are allowed to be happy when they see/learn terms like this. But this is code switching. The OP might have said: what is the technical name for this.
    – Lambie
    Aug 27, 2020 at 13:27
  • Monkeys typically swing from branch to branch.

It is important to say from branch to branch or from tree to tree or from x to y.

They do not jump as jumping involves the feet, not the arms, which is what monkeys use to propel themselves.


'Clamber' or 'clambering' is about perfect: VERB climb, move, or get in or out of something in an awkward and laborious way, typically using both hands and feet.

  • Welcome to ELL! What do you mean "Clamber' or 'clambering' is about perfect"?
    – Eddie Kal
    Aug 26, 2020 at 22:48
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    Monkeys do not usually move about in an "awkward and laborious" way.
    – alephzero
    Aug 27, 2020 at 0:52

How about "migrating" if it is a group

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    Welcome to English Language Learners! While this may be correct, we like our answers to be backed up by references. You can edit your answer to include one (e.g. an online dictionary). See the Help Center article How to Answer. In particular, monkeys "migrating" implies movement but usually on the ground and longer distances.
    – Glorfindel
    Aug 27, 2020 at 10:17

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