Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several large, chiefly nocturnal, odd-toed ungulates of the genus Tapirus of tropical America, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra, related to the horse and the rhinoceros, and having a heavy body, short legs, and a long, fleshy, flexible upper lip.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any one the species of large odd-toed ungulates of the taxonomic family Tapiridae with a long prehensile upper lip, of which all four surviving species are in genus Tapirus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of large odd-toed ungulates belonging to Tapirus, Elasmognathus, and allied genera. They have a long prehensile upper lip, short ears, short and stout legs, a short, thick tail, and short, close hair. They have three toes on the hind feet, and four toes on the fore feet, but the outermost toe is of little use.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A hoofed mammal of the family Tapiridæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. large inoffensive chiefly nocturnal ungulate of tropical America and southeast Asia having a heavy body and fleshy snout

Etymologies

Perhaps French, ultimately from Tupi tapiira, tapir.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French tapir, from Tupian tapira. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • LOL Tapirs. I kid you not. (Note: Not surprisingly, they are unfunny.)

    October 27, 2010

  • I was just about to say the same, yarb.

    April 8, 2009

  • Shame the photopgrapher saw fit to emboss his handle on the poor thing's snout.

    April 8, 2009

  • cute adult tapir

    April 8, 2009

  • "William Randolph Hearst, in more recent times, stocked San Simeon with marvelous acquisitions, which included works of art, his mistress Marion Davies, and a menagerie dominated by a resilient tapir named Squeaky."

    Peaceable Kingdom: the power of nature and the nature of our power over it.
    By: Rowland, Ingrid D.
    Publication: American Scholar
    Date: Friday, September 22 2006

    January 11, 2009

  • I'm voting TAPIR.

    August 4, 2008

  • Adorable as the chunky baby chow chow is, mollusque, the charging baby tapir really has it beat.

    August 4, 2008

  • Giving the charging baby tapir a run for its money is the chunky baby chow chow.

    August 4, 2008

  • *trying to picture a bewigged chihuahua nuzzling a watermelon*

    July 21, 2008

  • I sometimes enjoy nuzzling watermelons. What bear doesn't? O cool, smooth, melony watermelon... how I love you...

    July 13, 2008

  • And do watermelons nuzzle?

    March 4, 2008

  • Where do the nuzzling ungulates fit into the scheme of things?

    March 4, 2008

  • No, no. I would never chain a tapir, and would prefer not to be one. I would much prefer, if I were a tapir, to be an ambulatory watermelon.

    reesetee, I shamelessly stole that avatar off some person on MySpace, so I can't really say it's mine. Though I think both ambulatory watermelon and bewigged chihuahua are going on my Attack Butterfly list.
    Edit: Oops, I mean vicious sheep list. I get them confused.

    December 8, 2007

  • Wait. Chained_bear, I thought it was a bewigged chihuahua? (Chained_chihuahua, though, just doesn't have the appropriate oomph.)

    December 7, 2007

  • How silly of me. Somehow I'd thought of the chained bear as your totem. Does this mean that you've become chained_tapir?

    December 6, 2007

  • Why, a chained bear, of course. :)

    December 6, 2007

  • Um, c_b, who or what was your previous avatar?

    December 6, 2007

  • Is there some way we can change WeirdNET's definition to: jolly, inoffensive pygmy elephant who just walked through Jackson Pollock's studio?

    December 6, 2007

  • BLAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! HA HA HA HA!!! That's my new avatar. HA HA HA!!

    December 6, 2007

  • Yup, that's him, reesetee. Sorry, c_b, I omitted the closing quote on the href. Now fixed in the earlier comment and repeated here.

    December 6, 2007

  • 'Bout halfway down on this page, c_b. Right, mollusque?

    December 5, 2007

  • Mollusque, that image is truly adorable! The second link you posted, though, gave me a 404 File Not Found. Wah!

    December 5, 2007

  • Baby tapirs look like ambulatory watermelons. And is there anything cuter than a charging baby tapir?

    December 5, 2007

  • I'd love it if someone called me an ungulate. (Unless I really hated that person, of course.) I'd probably laugh my rear off (and my rear could use some laughing off) just to hear the word in daily conversation.

    December 5, 2007

  • I think my level of offence would depend on whether I was called an even-toed or odd-toed ungulate.

    December 5, 2007

  • @SonofGroucho: (1) A baby cobra, probably two inches long, trying to strike my very threatening work boot;
    (2) A dog lying on a sidewalk and being run over by a bicycle without moving a muscle; (3) The city of Monroe, LA.

    December 5, 2007

  • @pomegranate: What weirder things have you seen since?

    @bilby: I've been called much worse than an ungulate!

    December 5, 2007

  • If some prat called me an ungulate I'd probably be offended. Then I'd go home and leaf through the dictionary with my fleshy snout. And, um ...

    December 5, 2007

  • The first time I saw one of these, it was leashed on a porch in Bangkok, Thailand. Weirdest thing I'd ever seen up until then.

    December 5, 2007

  • I'm offended by its smell.

    December 5, 2007

  • Maybe it's inoffensive in the sense that it won't attack you.

    December 3, 2007

  • And it does seem to have a curious affinity for fleshiness.

    December 1, 2007

  • WeirdNet is the new Miss Manners!

    December 1, 2007

  • Who is to say it is "inoffensive"?

    December 1, 2007

  • Or swine-like animals. Same thing.

    March 27, 2007

  • "rip at" in reverse

    January 26, 2007