Definition of manatee
: any of a genus (Trichechus of the family Trichechidae) of large, herbivorous, aquatic mammals that inhabit warm coastal and inland waters of the southeastern U.S., West Indies, northern South America, and West Africa and have a rounded body, a small head with a squarish snout, paddle-shaped flippers usually with vestigial nails, and a flattened, rounded tail used for propulsion An aquatic relative of the elephant, manatees grow up to nine feet long and can weigh 1,000 pounds.— Felicity Barringer
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