• synonyms


[tey-per, tuh-peer]
See more synonyms for tapir on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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

Related Words for tapir

hog, horse, cow, elephant, pig, swine, cattle, tapir, camel, deer, rhinoceros, giraffe, llama, buffalo, hippopotamus

Examples from the Web for tapir

Historical Examples of tapir

  • And the white bones of the tapir lay in a huddled mass in the open.

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930


  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for 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
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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


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper