English Dictionary

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opossum (əˈpɒsəm Pronunciation for opossum



(plural) -sums, -sum
  1. any thick-furred marsupial, esp Didelphis marsupialis (common opossum), of the family Didelphidae of S North, Central, and South America, having an elongated snout and a hairless prehensile tail Sometimes (informal) shortened to: possum
  2. Also called (Austral and NZ): possum. any of various similar animals, esp the phalanger, Trichosurus vulpecula, of the New Zealand bush

Word Origin

C17: from Algonquian aposoum; related to Delaware apässum, literally: white beast

Example Sentences Including 'opossum'

Scientists are also sequencing chimpanzee, macaque, dog cow and opossum genomes.
CBC (2004)
The city has many green areas where opossum and other woodland reservoir hosts of Leishmania live.
British Medical Journal (2002)


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