tapir

noun ta·pir \ ˈtā-pər also ˈtā-ˌpir or tə-ˈpir \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

Definition of tapir

plural tapirs also 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

Recent Examples of tapir from the Web

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

Illustration of tapir

Origin and Etymology of tapir

Portuguese tapir, tapira, from Tupi tapiʔíra

Other Mammals Terms


TAPIR Defined for English Language Learners

tapir

noun

Definition of tapir for English Language Learners

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


TAPIR Defined for Kids

tapir

noun ta·pir \ ˈtā-pər \

Definition of tapir for Students

: 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


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