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[tahr-zuh n, -zan] /ˈtɑr zən, -zæn/
the hero of a series of jungle stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
a person of superior or superhuman physical strength, agility, and prowess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Tarzan
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tarzan (of, if I remember rightly, the Apes) never won the double event.

    If Winter Don't Barry Pain
  • Tarzan, you'll remember, did not learn to smoke and drink until the second book.

    The Big Fix George Oliver Smith
  • They were as happy about the whole mess as a pair of kids erecting a Tarzan dwelling in a tree.

    Rats in the Belfry John York Cabot
  • And I would think that maybe in a way Etl was like Tarzan, being raised by apes.

    Stamped Caution Raymond Zinke Gallun
  • After suggesting everything that seemed akin to this, she happened upon “Tarzan.”

    The Crimson Thread

    Roy J. Snell
British Dictionary definitions for Tarzan


(sometimes not capital) (informal, often ironic) a man with great physical strength, agility, and virility
Word Origin
C20: after the hero of a series of stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs
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
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Word Origin and History for Tarzan

name of character in a series of novels by U.S. fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950), introduced 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Tarzan in Culture

Tarzan definition

A character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the early twentieth century. Tarzan, born to aristocratic parents but orphaned in Africa, is raised by apes, who teach him to speak their language.

Note: The adventures of Tarzan have been chronicled in countless books, comic strips, animated cartoons, radio and television series, and motion pictures.
Note: By extension, a “Tarzan” is a macho male, figuratively thumping his chest to get attention.

Tarzan definition

A character in popular novels by the twentieth-century American author Edgar Rice Burroughs. (See under “Mythology and Folklore.”)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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