Definition of tamandua in US English:



  • A small nocturnal arboreal anteater with a naked prehensile tail, native to tropical America.

    Genus Tamandua, family Myrmecophagidae: two species

    • ‘The tamandua feeds on ants and termites which it catches with its long, sticky tongue.’
    • ‘Some mammals, like tree pangolins and tamanduas eat arboreal ants and termites.’
    • ‘The southern tamandua has an elongated snout and is covered by creamy yellow-brown fur.’
    • ‘And when we landed, a tamandua was busy breaking into a termite mound beside the runway.’
    • ‘As well as strong claws, tamanduas have powerful prehensile tails to give them additional purchase when climbing.’


Early 17th century: via Portuguese from Tupi tamanduá, from taly ‘ant’ + monduar ‘hunter’.