[tey-per, tuh-peer]
noun, plural tapirs (especially collectively) tapir.
any of several large, stout, three-toed ungulates of the family Tapiridae, of Central and South America, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra, somewhat resembling swine and having a long, flexible snout: all species are threatened or endangered.

1560–70;Tupi tapira

taper, tapir.
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World English Dictionary
tapir (ˈteɪpə)
n , pl -pirs, -pir
any perissodactyl mammal of the genus Tapirus, such as T. indicus (Malayan tapir), of South and Central America and SE Asia, having an elongated snout, three-toed hind legs, and four-toed forelegs: family Tapiridae
[C18: from Tupi tapiira]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1774, perhaps from Fr. tapir (1580), ultimately from Tupi (Brazil) tapira.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Wildlife includes tapir, deer, howler monkeys and snakes.
Therefore the best it can manage in the line of pachyderms is the modest tapir.
It does not seem unfair to call it an aggressively unattractive animal, about
  as cuddly as the average tapir.
Most of the pieces of fossilized bone came from an animal identified as a tapir.
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