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 Police in Australia believe 20 kangaroos found dead or injured in a coastal area in Tura Beach may have been run over by a vehicle. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, "20 kangaroos run over by vehicle in Australia in possible 'deliberate act of cruelty'," 30 Sep. 2019 Something special Australian punter Wade Lees, who at 31 is the second-oldest player in the Pac-12, has been a joy for the Bruins beyond the old-man jokes and kangaroo quips; his average of 44 yards per punt ranks No. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "UCLA-Washington State: How the teams match up," 20 Sep. 2019 Other monodactyl animals, like horses and ancient kangaroos, lost their extra digits in order to run and jump more efficiently. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "This Little Brazilian Dinosaur Ran Across the Desert on One Toe," 3 July 2019 In this place where volunteers come to protect wildlife—a category that includes distinctly unwild baby kangaroos who have lost their mothers, and other small creatures. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Outback: The Kimberley Comes Alive’ Review: Awesome Australia," 26 July 2018 And both of these species are about as different from a white shark as a dog is from a kangaroo. Gavin Naylor, The Conversation, "Shark Week looms, but don’t panic," 25 July 2019 Harry and Meghan have been give a kangaroo and its Joey. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were Gifted a Toy Kangaroo On Their First Australia Tour Stop," 15 Oct. 2018 The zoo also offers family friendly ropes courses; visitors can climb above the zoo and look down at the Australian Walkabout section to see the koalas, emus and kangaroos (for an extra fee). Washington Post, "Skip Sydney’s typical city zoo for an Australian-animal park where you can touch a koala," 25 July 2019 Among other customizations, Lewis Thorpe had the Australian flag on one shoe and kangaroos in neon orange on the other. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Twins’ Byron Buxton nears rehab assignment," 23 Aug. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of kangaroo was in 1770

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Statistics for kangaroo

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Kangaroo.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kangaroos. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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Financial Definition of kangaroo

What It Is

Kangaroos are slang for Australian stocks.

How It Works

For example, if Company XYZ is an Australian company whose stock trades on the Sydney exchange, it is a kangaroo.

Why It Matters

Kangaroos are a popular feature of the Australian outback, and the animal has come to symbolize members of the Australian financial scene.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce kangaroo (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on kangaroo

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kangaroo

Spanish Central: Translation of kangaroo

Nglish: Translation of kangaroo for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kangaroo

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