pro·​sim·​i·​an prō-ˈsi-mē-ən How to pronounce prosimian (audio)
: any of a suborder (Prosimii) of lower primates (such as lemurs and lorises)

Note: The suborder Prosimii is now infrequently used in taxonomic classification. Most species, with the exception of the tarsiers, formerly grouped in the suborder Prosimii are now classified in the suborder Strepsirrhini.

prosimian adjective

Examples of prosimian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sifakas — neither monkey nor ape but a prosimian from Madagascar — increase their consumption of tannin-rich plants while pregnant or breast-feeding. Jesse Hawley, Discover Magazine, 6 Jan. 2021 Lemurs represent an evolutionary path not taken, prosimians that never evolved into anything else. Tom Downey, WSJ, 18 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'prosimian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin Prosimii, from pro- entry 1 + Latin simia ape — more at simian

First Known Use

1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of prosimian was in 1873

Dictionary Entries Near prosimian

Cite this Entry

“Prosimian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


pro·​sim·​i·​an (ˈ)prō-ˈsim-ē-ən How to pronounce prosimian (audio)
: a mammal (as a lemur) that is one of the lower primates
prosimian adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on prosimian

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