Definition of tenrec in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtenrek/


A small, insectivorous mammal native to Madagascar, different kinds of which resemble hedgehogs, shrews, or small otters.
  • Several genera in the family Tenrecidae: many species, including the common (or tailless) tenrec (Tenrec ecaudatus), also found in the Comoro islands.
Example sentences
  • Afrotheria is a newly recognized taxon comprising elephants, hyraxes, sea cows, aardvarks, golden moles, tenrecs, and elephant shrews.
  • Even comprehensive analyses have not clarified phylogenetic relationships among aardvarks, tenrecs, golden moles, and elephant shrews.
  • Small, spiny, pointy-nosed creatures known as tenrecs are the equivalents of shrews, moles and hedgehogs.


Late 18th century: from French tanrec, from Malagasy tàndraka.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ten·rec

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.