Definition of tapir in English:



  • A nocturnal hoofed mammal with a stout body, sturdy limbs, and a short flexible proboscis, native to the forests of tropical America and Malaysia.

    • ‘The trail will focus on countries such as Indonesia, Brazil Madagascar (the natural habitats of Dublin Zoo's Sumatran tiger cub, Ratna, the Brazilian tapir and ring-tailed lemurs).’
    • ‘During the day, various treks are offered into the jungle, though I suspect the chances of actually seeing a tapir or a jaguar are as slim as a hummingbird's beak.’
    • ‘Only 7 percent remains of the original 400,000-square-mile forest, home to hundreds of species of trees and animals like tapirs, jaguars and the rare marsh antbird.’
    • ‘This destruction of the rain forests threatens many endangered species including tigers, elephants, orang-utans, Sumatran rhinos, and tapirs, as well as hundreds of species of birds, plants and insects.’
    • ‘In the event that it decides to develop the area, there will be serious risks to the health and long-term survival of the region which is home to jaguars, pumas, tapirs and many more endangered species.’
    • ‘When moving, the Malayan tapir walks slowly with its head down, which probably allows it to pick up the scents of other tapirs.’
    • ‘Passing tigers, rhinos, tapirs, deer and other animals triggered the shutter by tripping infrared sensors.’
    • ‘One of Sumatra's single largest remaining blocks of lowland forest, Tesso Nilo is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, gibbons and tapirs.’
    • ‘The dry season (May through October) finds the Pantanal at its most pleasant: no flooding, cool temperatures, and big beasts such as tapirs, capybaras, and caimans clustered around water holes.’
    • ‘Folksy handwritten signs introduce visitors to each resident, including April, a tapir, also known as a mountain cow or, as our guide described her, "a cross between a rhinoceros and a horse."’
    • ‘All young tapirs are born, however, with a pattern of dots and stripes on their body which makes them appear, in the words of one zoologist, like ‘watermelons with legs.’’
    • ‘This cloud forest is home to the elusive tapir and jaguar, as well as one of nature's most beautiful birds, the resplendent quetzal.’
    • ‘The exhibit will highlight the jaguar but also will feature golden lion tamarins, tapirs, anteaters and other animals.’
    • ‘Panama is angling to be the next Costa Rica, with nearly 6,000 square miles of public lands and a wildlife population (jaguars, tapirs, giant sea turtles, sloths) that'll make any tropical nation green with envy.’
    • ‘The Macal River Valley in Belize is home to three-toed tapirs, elusive jaguars, and a rare subspecies of scarlet macaw.’
    • ‘Apart from those already mentioned there are zebras, camels, baboons, lemurs, sea lions, humboldt penguins, tapirs and meerkats.’
    • ‘The island is refuge to various species of birds and mammals, including the elusive tapir and five monkey species.’
    • ‘Black caracaras have a mutualistic relationship with tapirs.’
    • ‘The Asháninka also keep and eat chickens and their eggs, and they hunt tapirs, boars, and monkeys.’
    • ‘The dam would flood the Macal River valley - a so-called ‘Biogem’ of rain forest and fertile flood plain that is home to many endangered species like the howler monkey, jaguar, and tapir.’


Late 18th century: via Spanish and Portuguese from Tupi tapyra.