Share this entry

tarsier Line breaks: tar|sier
Pronunciation: /ˈtɑːsɪə/

Definition of tarsier in English:


A small insectivorous, tree-dwelling, nocturnal primate with very large eyes, a long tufted tail, and very long hindlimbs, native to the islands of SE Asia.
  • Family Tarsiidae and genus Tarsius, suborder Prosimii: four species
Example sentences
  • Only in recent decades have prosimians - a suborder of primates that includes lemurs, lorises, bushbabies, and tarsiers - begun to be studied systematically.
  • Besides gibbons, singing primates include the Madagascan lemurs called indris, the tarsiers of Sulawesi, and the tiff monkeys of South America.
  • It could be a marsupial rat or mole or something opossumlike, or a rodent, insectivore, or even a primate akin to a tarsier or loris.


Late 18th century: from French, from tarse 'tarsus', with reference to the animal's long tarsal bones.

Words that rhyme with tarsier

intarsia, mahseer, Marcia

Definition of tarsier in:

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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: lʌks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious