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
Recent Examples of tapir from the Web
This mosaic was home to varied assemblage of giant armadillos, camels, ground sloths, dire wolves, tapirs, and mammoths, but the cast of smaller animals would have looked more familiar.
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Origin and Etymology of tapir
Portuguese tapir, tapira, from Tupi tapiʔíra
First Known Use: 1774
TAPIR Defined for English Language Learners
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
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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