[ tahr-zuhn, -zan ]

  1. the hero of a series of jungle stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

  2. a person of superior or superhuman physical strength, agility, and prowess.

Words Nearby Tarzan

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How to use Tarzan in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Tarzan


/ (ˈtɑːzən) /

  1. (sometimes not capital) informal, often ironic a man with great physical strength, agility, and virility

Origin of Tarzan

C20: after the hero of a series of stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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

Cultural definitions for Tarzan (1 of 2)


A character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the early twentieth century. Tarzan, born to aristocratic parents but orphaned in Africa, is raised by apes, who teach him to speak their language.

Notes for Tarzan

The adventures of Tarzan have been chronicled in countless books, comic strips, animated cartoons, radio and television series, and motion pictures.

Notes for Tarzan

By extension, a “Tarzan” is a macho male, figuratively thumping his chest to get attention.

A character in popular novels by the twentieth-century American author Edgar Rice Burroughs. (See under “Mythology and Folklore.”)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.