Share this entry

Share this page

aye-aye

Line breaks: aye-aye
Pronunciation: /ˈʌɪʌɪ
 
/

Definition of aye-aye in English:

noun

A rare nocturnal Madagascan primate related to the lemurs. It has rodent-like incisor teeth and an elongated twig-like finger on each hand with which it prises insects from bark.
  • Daubentonia madagascariensis, the only member of the family Daubentoniidae
Example sentences
  • Fossils suggest that lemurs, bush babies, lorises, aye-ayes, and their relatives (the prosimians) split off from the ancestors of monkeys and apes around 55 million years ago.
  • So do wombats, hyraxes, aye-ayes, and lagomorphs, to give a few examples chosen from modern mammals.
  • They open a hole with their rodent-like incisors and extract their prey with their elongated fourth finger and long tongue - a manner of foraging very much like the primates, aye-ayes.

Origin

late 18th century: from French, from Malagasy aiay.

Definition of aye-aye in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing