We're working on a new site. Click here to get a sneak preview.


noun ta·pir \ˈtā-pər also ˈtā-ˌpir or tə-ˈpir\

: an animal that is like a pig with a long nose and short legs and that lives in tropical America and Southeast Asia

plural tapirs also tapir

Full Definition of TAPIR

:  any of a genus (Tapirus) of herbivorous chiefly nocturnal perissodactyl mammals of tropical America and southeastern Asia from Myanmar to Sumatra that have a heavy sparsely hairy body and the snout and upper lip prolonged into a short flexible proboscis

Illustration of TAPIR

Origin of TAPIR

Portuguese tapir, tapira, from Tupi tapiʔíra
First Known Use: 1774

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole
TAPIRS Defined for Kids


noun ta·pir \ˈtā-pər\

Definition of TAPIR for Kids

:  a large hoofed plant-eating animal of tropical America and southeastern Asia that has short thick legs, a short tail, and a long flexible snout


Next Word in the Dictionary: tapiranaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: tapioliteAll Words Near: tapir
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears