kan·​ga·​roo | \ ˌkaŋ-gə-ˈrü How to pronounce kangaroo (audio) \
plural kangaroos

Definition of kangaroo

: any of various herbivorous leaping marsupial mammals (family Macropodidae) of Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands with a small head, large ears, long powerful hind legs, a long thick tail used as a support and in balancing, and rather small forelegs not used in locomotion

Illustration of kangaroo

Illustration of kangaroo

Examples of kangaroo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The bone probably belonged to a macropod—a kangaroo, wallaby or related type of marsupial, Australian Broadcasting Company’s Anita Ward reports. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Rare Ancient Tool Found in Australia May Have Been Made With Kangaroo Bone," 18 Mar. 2021 Ecologists say the kangaroo industry is the world’s most sustainable and ethical meat trade. Washington Post, "‘Kangaroos are not shoes’ campaign lands awkwardly in Australia’s Outback," 15 Apr. 2021 The kangaroo was painted on the sloping ceiling of a rock shelter in the northeastern Kimberley region of Western Australia. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Rock on! Australia's oldest painting is of the beloved kangaroo," 22 Feb. 2021 With vision, for example, anyone who sees a completely new animal type for the first time - say a kangaroo - will most likely be able to recognise it as such (i.e. a new type of animal). Ed Stacey, Forbes, "What Humans Can Learn From 'Human In The Loop' Learning," 9 Apr. 2021 Allen’s opening goal in the 10th minute when Isaiah Moreno’s high floating pass from distance took a kangaroo hop off the turf and over the outstretched arm of the Grand Prairie keeper who had come far off his line to play the ball. Dallas News, "Soccer playoff roundup: Allen boys rout Grand Prairie; Highland Park girls cruise past Mount Pleasant," 30 Mar. 2021 This vertical posture is unique for a two-legged reptile and more resembles a standing kangaroo. Kiersten Formoso, The Conversation, "Godzilla vs. Kong: A functional morphologist uses science to pick a winner," 29 Mar. 2021 On a quieter stretch of sidewalk, a cardboard cutout of a kangaroo leaned against a fence. Erin Stone, The Arizona Republic, "Between anger and sadness: How the climate crisis has become a mental health crisis," 14 Mar. 2021 Braxton earlier this week was hauling the kangaroo from south Mississippi to its new home in Tennessee. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Jack the kangaroo found, roped and tackled in west Alabama," 3 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kangaroo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of kangaroo

1770, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kangaroo

Guugu Yimidhirr (Australian aboriginal language of northern Queensland) gaŋurru

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Time Traveler for kangaroo

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The first known use of kangaroo was in 1770

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Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kangaroo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kangaroo. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for kangaroo



English Language Learners Definition of kangaroo

: an Australian animal that moves by hopping on its powerful rear legs


kan·​ga·​roo | \ ˌkaŋ-gə-ˈrü How to pronounce kangaroo (audio) \
plural kangaroos

Kids Definition of kangaroo

: a leaping mammal of Australia and nearby islands that feeds on plants and has long powerful hind legs, a thick tail used as a support in standing or walking, and in the female a pouch on the abdomen in which the young are carried

More from Merriam-Webster on kangaroo

Nglish: Translation of kangaroo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kangaroo

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