bil·​by ˈbil-bē How to pronounce bilby (audio)
plural bilbies
: either of two burrowing nocturnal bandicoots (Macrotis lagotis and M. leucura) having a long tapered muzzle and large pointed ears

called also rabbit-eared bandicoot

Examples of bilby in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web George came face-to-face with a bilby, a rat-like marsupial which is also Australia's version of the Easter bunny, which was named after him. Stephanie Petit,, 17 Apr. 2022 These hunts have helped to save local populations of two threatened species—the greater bilby, a small, large-eared native marsupial, and the great desert skink. Anthony Ham, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Mar. 2021 The greater bilby, for its part, was once abundant throughout most of Australia; today the total population is estimated at fewer than 10,000. Elizabeth Kolbert, Wired, 13 Mar. 2021 But the awww moment may have been at Sydney's harbor-side Taronga Zoo on Easter Sunday, where George met a cute little critter – a bilby – named for him. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 16 Dec. 2019 The benefits of bilbies Bilbies live in notoriously inhospitable regions of Australian outback, where temperatures can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit and wildfires are a regular occurrence. Annie Roth, National Geographic, 18 Apr. 2019 When Prince George— then just nine months old—was photographed with a cute bilby, a native marsupial, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney during the Cambridges’ 2014 tour, he was dubbed the republican slayer. Juliet Rieden, Town & Country, 1 Nov. 2018 Feral cats have been linked to the extinction of 20 species in Australia, including the lesser bilby and the desert bandicoot. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 30 May 2018 Similar critters, such as the lesser bilby, went extinct decades ago. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, 18 Dec. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bilby.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Yuwaalaraay (Australian aboriginal language of northern New South Wales) bilbi

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bilby was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near bilby

Cite this Entry

“Bilby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

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