[ proh-sim-ee-uh n ]
/ proʊˈsɪm i ən /


belonging or pertaining to the primate suborder Prosimii, characterized by nocturnal habits, a long face with a moist snout, prominent whiskers, large mobile ears, and large, slightly sideways-facing eyes, comprising the lemur, loris, potto, bush baby, and aye-aye.Compare anthropoid.


a prosimian animal.

Origin of prosimian

1855–60; < New Latin Prosimi(i) name of the suborder + -an (see pro-1, simian) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for prosimian

/ (prəʊˈsɪmɪən) /


any primate of the primitive suborder Prosimii, including lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers


of, relating to, or belonging to the Prosimii

Word Origin for prosimian

C19: via New Latin from pro- ² + Latin sīmia ape
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

Science definitions for prosimian

[ prō-sĭmē-ən ]

Any of various primates of the suborder Strepsirrhini (formerly Prosimii), considered the most primitive primates. Prosimians have a moist, bare muzzle and a retina that lacks a fovea but is backed by a reflective layer that increases night vision. Unlike other primates, female prosimians do not menstruate because the lining of their uteri is not built up each month to prepare for possible pregnancy. Prosimians are mostly small in size, and include the lemurs, aye-ayes, indris, and lorises. The tarsiers were once classified as prosimians but are now considered more closely related to the monkeys and apes. Compare simian.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.