flying squirrel


: either of two small nocturnal North American squirrels (Glaucomys volans and G. sabrinus) with folds of skin connecting the forelegs and hind legs that enable it to make long gliding leaps
also : any of various squirrels that possess a patagium

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Almost half of flying squirrel species, such as the southern flying squirrel in North and Central America and the Javanese flying squirrel of Southeast Asia, have stable populations. National Geographic, 21 Aug. 2020 Wintertime in a remote Montana forest heralds the arrival of mating season for the flying squirrel—and one of nature's most spectacular air shows. Discover Magazine, 28 Dec. 2016 Watch this professional jumper leap off a cliff in Italy wearing a flying squirrel suit! Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 30 June 2022 Most have obvious control surfaces — the skin flaps of the flying squirrel are a good example. New York Times, 26 May 2022 The flying squirrel may be the archetype, and some spiders, lizards and frogs can sail through the air and come in for a soft landing. New York Times, 26 May 2022 Southern species of flying squirrel colonizing Michigan. Christopher Borrelli, Chicago Tribune, 14 May 2022 The list reads like speculative fiction: the Ilin Island cloudrunner, in the Philippines; the Namdapha flying squirrel, in India; the Blanco blind salamander, in Texas. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2022 Those include a baby flying squirrel, a baby fox and bear cubs. Felicia Fonseca, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flying squirrel was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near flying squirrel

Cite this Entry

“Flying squirrel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

flying squirrel

: a squirrel with folds of skin connecting the forelegs and hind legs that enable it to make long gliding leaps

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