tapir

[tey-per, tuh-peer]
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noun, plural ta·pirs, (especially collectively) ta·pir.
  1. any of several large, stout, three-toed ungulates of the family Tapiridae, of Central and South America, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra, somewhat resembling swine and having a long, flexible snout: all species are threatened or endangered.

Origin of tapir

1560–70;Tupi tapira
Can be confusedtaper tapir
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for tapir

tapir

noun plural -pirs or -pir
  1. any perissodactyl mammal of the genus Tapirus, such as T. indicus (Malayan tapir), of South and Central America and SE Asia, having an elongated snout, three-toed hind legs, and four-toed forelegs: family Tapiridae

Word Origin for tapir

C18: from Tupi tapiira
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 tapir
n.

1774, perhaps from French tapir (1580), ultimately from Tupi (Brazil) tapira.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper