English Dictionary

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opossum (əˈpɒsəm



(plural) -sums or -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


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