Definition of prosimian in English:

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Pronunciation: /prōˈsimēən/


A primitive primate of a group that includes the lemurs, lorises, bushbabies, and tarsiers.
  • Suborder Prosimii, order Primates: several families.
Example sentences
  • The celebrated eighteenth-century systematizer Carolus Linnaeus also located people firmly within the animal kingdom, constructing the primate order to accommodate humans, apes, monkeys, prosimians, and bats.
  • Intriguingly, lemurs and other prosimians - regarded as the most primitive primate suborder - exhibited a slightly greater frontal cortex proportion than people and great apes did.
  • Only in recent decades have prosimians - a suborder of primates that includes lemurs, lorises, bushbabies, and tarsiers - begun to be studied systematically.


Relating to the prosimians. Compare with simian.
Example sentences
  • ‘If complexity of social structure is a pressure to develop certain aspects of intelligence, we should expect ring-tailed lemurs to surpass all other prosimian species on tasks that tap those aspects of intelligence,’ she said.
  • The monkey researchers feel subordinated by the ape researchers, but at least there's all these prosimian researchers we can dump on, making these snotty taxonomic arguments as to whether prosimians even count as primates.
  • By pinpointing which cognitive abilities all primates share, including prosimian primates, we hope to determine what aspects of intelligence are general primate adaptations.


Late 19th century: from pro-2 'before' + simian.

Words that rhyme with prosimian

Endymion, Simeon, simian

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pro·sim·i·an

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