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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.
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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

Examples from the Web for tapir

Historical Examples

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

    Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930

    Various

  • 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

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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper