- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tapir
And the white bones of the tapir lay in a huddled mass in the open.
The tapir, then, in point of size takes precedence in the South-American fauna.
It now only remained to get the tapir into it, but therein lay the difficulty.
Guapo kept his promise with the tapir, and on that very same day.
He has reached the spot where Halberger turned in along the tapir path.Gaspar the Gaucho
- 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
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
1774, perhaps from French tapir (1580), ultimately from Tupi (Brazil) tapira.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper