I've seen it in the news web-site. It was used interchangeably with word макак-резус.

What is also interesting, in the same article they first decline both words like "самец макака-резуса" and then completely separate the word макак and use it as a first class citizen word. So, the second related question is weather it is a correct way to decline this compound word.

  • Could you please provide some usage context or the link to the site? Are you sure it's not a pl. gen. from the feminine form?
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 17:18
  • @Quassnoi: I added the link. No, it seems to be in nominative case.
    – farfareast
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 18:47
  • резус макак is a loan translation of Rhesus macaque. Such loanwords are widely used in science but макак резус looks like illiteracy to me.
    – user507
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 6:22

2 Answers 2


Neither the dictionary of Ushakov nor Ozhegov has the word макак, but "Новый англо-русский биологический словарь" © «РУССО», 2003 has it and lists several species using this word. Gramota.ru doesn't list the word, but Wikipedia does. The only explanation I can find is that макак is used in scientific context, while макака is used in neutral, everyday speech. Also, it's better to say макак-резус, not the other way round.

  • Changed резус-макака to макак-резуса. Thanks.
    – farfareast
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 18:53
  • What would be the proper way of declining this word: вижу макака-резуса or вижу макак-резуса?
    – farfareast
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 3:47
  • @farfareast - Definitely, "вижу макака-резуса" is correct. You can see it in the web-site you gave a link to in the question, both words are declined.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 13:34
  • It is not a prove yet if I see some example of usage on a news-web site. I would greatly appreciate a reference to the rule in some book like Rosental etc.
    – farfareast
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 14:39
  • @farfareast - In "макак-резус" the second component, "резус" is an apposition to "макак". Typically, the problem is whether we must decline this apposition. "Mакак" is a wider term than "резус", that's why "резус" is an apposition. In "Валгина, Розенталь, Фомина", chapter 276: Приложение - это определение, выраженное именем существительным, согласующимся с определяемым словом в падеже. (Apposition is a noun attribute, agreeing in case with the word it refers to.) If both words a declinable they must be in the same case.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 15:13

The word макак can be directly produced from макака. No matter if dictionaries mention it or not, it is 100% understandable and mostly unambiguous. In the Russian language, we constantly morph words to adapt their meaning. Макак can be used to refer to a male animal, or mean, seriously-looking animal of any gender. For example, a monkey in dress, which is sipping tea from a cup and smoking a pipe, would most likely be called "макак", while a natural wild animal in the woods would be "макака", regardless of their gender.

And of cause such intrinsic details of language may vary from town to town.

  • 2
    Is макак to макака the same that обезьян to обезьяна?
    – farfareast
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 15:29

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