Of, relating to, or affecting the reindeer or caribou, Rangifer tarandus.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Dictionary. From scientific Latin Rangifer, genus name (C. H. Smith in E. Griffith et al. Cuvier's Animal Kingdom V. 304; from post-classical Latin rangifer reindeer, of uncertain origin: see below) + -ine. Compare scientific Latin Rangiferinae, former subfamily name (R. I. Pocock, 1923), and Rangiferini, tribe name (G. G. Simpson, 1945).