[ proh-sim-ee-uhn ]
/ proʊˈsɪm i ən /
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belonging or pertaining to the formerly designated suborder Prosimii, the group of primates that excludes the simians, therefore including all living and extinct strepsirrhines and tarsiers.


a prosimian animal.



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Origin of prosimian

First recorded in 1860–65; from New Latin Prosīmi(ī) name of the suborder + suffix -an; see origin at pro-1, simian,-an)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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
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

Scientific 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.
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