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See also: Indri




An indri in Madagascar

Possibly from Malagasy endira (the lemur Indri indri). A common explanation asserts that the word comes from the Malagasy indry (pronounced /ˈiɳɖʐʲ/) meaning “lo!” or “behold!”, or from indry izy (There he is!), which guides shouted to the French naturalist Pierre Sonnerat (1748–1814) upon seeing the animal, and which Sonnerat mistook for its name,[1] but it has been suggested that Sonnerat studied indris too closely for this story to be plausible.[2]



indri (plural indris)

  1. One of the largest living lemurs, Indri indri, which is native to Madagascar.
    Synonyms: babacoote, babakoto
    • 1993, Jan Sovak, Zoo Animals Coloring Book, Dover, page 20,
      The Indri ('Indri indri; top left), the largest prosimian at up to three feet long (excluding tail} and 22 pounds, eats plant matter.
    • 1999, Ronald M. Nowak, Ernest Pillsbury Walker, Walker's Primates of the World, Johns Hopkins University Press, page 84,
      The indri inhabits coastal and montane rainforest from sea level to about 1,800 meters.
    • 2011, William Powell, Ochan Kusuma-Powell, How to Teach Now: Five Keys to Personalized Learning in the Global Classroom, ASCD, page 134,
      Indris are known for their calls, some of which are truly eerie and can be heard for miles in the dense undergrowth.



  1. ^ indri, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1900; “indri” (US) / “indri” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ Ian Hacking (October 1981), “Was There Ever a Radical Mistranslation?”, in Analysis, volume 41, issue 4, London: Oxford University Press, DOI:10.2307/3327741, ISSN 0003-2638, JSTOR 3327741, OCLC 709962587, pages 173–174; Alexander R. Dunkel; Jelle S. Zijlstra; Colin P. Groves (2011–2012), “Giant Rabbits, Marmosets, and British Comedies: Etymology of Lemur Names, Part 1”, in Lemur News, volume 16, pages 67–68.

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