lemur

noun
le·​mur | \ˈlē-mər \

Definition of lemur 

: any of various arboreal diurnal or nocturnal, chiefly arboreal primates (superfamily Lemuroidea) of Madagascar and the Comoros Islands that usually have a longish muzzle, large eyes, very soft woolly fur, and a long furry tail and that feed on fruit and plant parts (such as leaves, flowers, and seeds) and sometimes insects and small animals

Note: Unlike most other primates, lemurs have a well-developed sense of smell. Physical and genetic characteristics indicate that all lemurs descended from a common prosimian ancestor that arrived in Madagascar approximately 55 to 60 million years ago.

Though matriarchy is rare in primates, female dominance is the norm for most lemur species.— Patricia Edmonds As a consequence of these activities and others, such as illicit hunting, most of the larger extant lemurs of Madagascar have very restricted ranges,— David A. Burney and Ross D. E. MacPhee … chimpanzees and sifakas, a species of lemur from Madagascar, are more active and show less stereotypical behavior when shifted from indoor to outdoor enclosures.— Jeffrey P. Cohn

Illustration of lemur

Illustration of lemur

Examples of lemur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The primary threat to lemurs here is deforestation and environmental destruction, not poaching. Tom Downey, WSJ, "Exploring Madagascar Is Now Easier Than Ever," 18 July 2018 The animals included a lemur, macaws, an African fennec fox and the tiger, both WFOR and WPLG reported. Natalie Dreier, ajc, "Jungle-themed prom included real, caged tiger," 14 May 2018 Easily navigable for visitors of all ages, the zoo’s attractions, in spacious surroundings, include lions, kangaroos, lemurs, river otters, sloth bears, and the zoo’s signature red pandas. Loren King, BostonGlobe.com, "Attleboro not only rich with history but also with museums," 8 Mar. 2018 Next up was Sofina, an 8-year-old diabetic lemur that had done well on insulin shots for six years, but displayed troubling new symptoms. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "Doctor, Your Patient Is Waiting. It’s a Red Panda.," 29 June 2018 Some proceeds from this mango-pineapple-vanilla milkshake IPA’s sales benefit the Sacramento Zoo’s work with black-and-white ruffled lemurs. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "These 15 Sacramento-area beers have the cleverest names of any released in 2018," 12 July 2018 One morning at the Franklin Park Zoo, Wataru Ebina had a few ideas for tests that might help identify what was going on with Sofina the lemur. Karen Weintraub, New York Times, "Doctor, Your Patient Is Waiting. It’s a Red Panda.," 29 June 2018 There's a lemur that looks like a cross between a teddy bear and red panda and hops between trees like a kangaroo. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Russ Mittermeier discovers 18 new species and travels to more than 170 countries," 8 June 2018 The next most murderous are monkey and lemur species, followed by sea lions. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "The world’s most murderous mammal is probably not what you think it is," 30 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lemur.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lemur

1795, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lemur

New Latin, from Latin lemures, plural, ghosts

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Dictionary Entries near lemur

Lemovices

Le Moyne

lempira

lemur

lemures

Lemurian

lemurian

Statistics for lemur

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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The first known use of lemur was in 1795

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More Definitions for lemur

lemur

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lemur

: an animal that is related to monkeys and that lives in trees mostly in Madagascar

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lemur

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