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indri

[in-dree]
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noun, plural in·dris.
  1. a short-tailed lemur, Indri indri, of Madagascar, about 2 feet (60 cm) in length: an endangered species.
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Origin of indri

1830–40; < French indri < Malagasy indry look!, wrongly taken as animal's name
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indris

Historical Examples

  • His skin is soft, and clothed in long fine hair; whence naturalists have named him Indris laniger.

    The Desert World

    Arthur Mangin

  • The skull in proportionate length is intermediate between that of Avahis and Indris.

  • The genus Indris has more pronounced external ears than have the two other genera of the sub-family.

  • This genus has only eleven pairs of ribs instead of the twelve of Indris and Propithecus.


British Dictionary definitions for indris

indris

indri (ˈɪndrɪ)

noun plural -dris
  1. a large Madagascan arboreal lemuroid primate, Indri indri, with thick silky fur patterned in black, white, and fawn: family Indriidae
  2. woolly indris a related nocturnal Madagascan animal, Avahi laniger, with thick grey-brown fur and a long tail
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Word Origin

C19: from French: lemur, from Malagasy indry! look! mistaken for the animal's name
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for indris

indri

n.

1839, European name for the babakoto, a lemur-like arboreal primate of Madagascar (Indris Lichanotus); the common story since late 19c. is that the name was given in error by French naturalist Pierre Sonnerat (1748-1814), c.1780, from mistaken use of Malagasy indry! "look! See!" Evidently this was what his native guides said when they spotted the creature and called his attention to it.

However, as Hacking (1981) pointed out, Sonnerat was far too familiar with indris -- he described and figured them in detail, and apparently kept at least one in captivity -- for this story to be plausible. Furthermore, endrina is actually recorded as a native name for the indri (Cousins, 1885), and indri could easily be a variant of this name. Although the word endrina is first recorded in Malagasy only in 1835, there is no evidence that it could be a back-formation from the French indri (Hacking, 1981), and it seems implausible that the Malagasy would adopt an erroneous French name for an animal they were them selves familiar with. [Dunkel, Alexander R., et al., "Giant rabbits, marmosets, and British comedies: etymology of lemur names, part 1," in "Lemur News," vol. 16, 2011-2012, p.67]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper