Definition of lemur in English:



  • An arboreal primate with a pointed snout and typically a long tail, found only in Madagascar.

    Compare with flying lemur
    • ‘One of the world's most diverse primates, lemurs range in size from a mouse to a medium-size dog.’
    • ‘The lemurs of Madagascar are the surviving members of a lineage that has been genetically isolated from the rest of the primate family for at least 65 million years.’
    • ‘Folly Farm staff are also delighted at the birth of two more ring tailed lemurs twins, also highly endangered, and prairie dog twins, all born around the same time and yet to be named.’
    • ‘Primates including forest-dwelling ancestors of today's lemurs and tarsiers flourished in the trees.’
    • ‘There were rodents, bats, elephants and lemurs with pointed snouts and long tails.’
    • ‘Primitive primates called lemurs fill the ecological roles of woodpeckers, squirrels and monkeys.’
    • ‘Like much of Madagascar's wildlife, lemurs are under serious threats.’
    • ‘A year later, I became an external PhD student at the college, studying seed dispersal by lemurs in Madagascar.’
    • ‘Here you'll see lemurs, those fascinating primates unique to Madagascar, as well as a variety of other rare creatures and plants.’
    • ‘The lake is home a troop of rare lemurs - a primate species indigenous to Madagascar.’
    • ‘In addition, researchers know that some monkeys, lemurs, and other mammals also eavesdrop on neighboring species.’
    • ‘The most famous of the island's animals are lemurs, large-eyed primates that leap through the trees.’
    • ‘Apart from those already mentioned there are zebras, camels, baboons, lemurs, sea lions, humboldt penguins, tapirs and meerkats.’
    • ‘In other words, the movie implies that primates, like lemurs trace an evolutionary ancestry that goes back to the dinosaurs.’
    • ‘It's well known among primatologists that the number of males within a group of, say, baboons, chimpanzees, or lemurs is related to the number of females.’
    • ‘As its body weight increases by around 40 percent, the lemur's tail swells massively with stored fat reserves.’
    • ‘Even endangered species, like Diana monkeys, lemurs, and gibbons, are for sale.’
    • ‘Till now, scientists thought the common ancestor of lemurs and lorises was a native of Africa, but the discovery in Pakistan suggests alternative scenarios.’
    • ‘It is a primate, close kin to the bushbabies of sub-Saharan Africa and the lemurs of Madagascar.’
    • ‘Catlike predators with long tails, fossas hunt everything from lemurs and mice to wild pigs.’


Late 18th century: modern Latin, from Latin lemures (plural) ‘spirits of the dead’ (from its spectre-like face).