ko·​ala | \ kə-ˈwä-lə How to pronounce koala (audio) , kō-ˈä-\

Definition of koala

: an Australian arboreal marsupial (Phascolarctos cinereus) that has a broad head, large hairy ears, dense gray fur, and sharp claws and feeds on eucalyptus leaves

called also koala bear

Illustration of koala

Illustration of koala

Examples of koala in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The best sweatpants feel like wearing a pair of toasty koalas. Jason Gay, WSJ, "Today’s Smartly Dressed People Are Wearing Sweatpants," 21 Feb. 2019 These include a meeting with mental health campaigners, some involvement in sports, and a casual meet-up with koalas at Taronga Zoo. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Has Two Solo Appearances on Her Royal Tour With Prince Harry, and They're Feminism-Focused," 5 Oct. 2018 And as if that weren’t enough, koalas are suffering a chlamydia epidemic. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Can the Koala Genome Save the Species From Deforestation and Chlamydia?," 2 July 2018 On the main drag from the airport to the city, a lone billboard with a giant photo of a koala alludes to the relationship between Papua New Guinea and its former colonial ruler, Australia. Rob Taylor, WSJ, "China, Wooing Summit Hosts, Stamps Its Mark in the South Pacific," 16 Nov. 2018 An emu holds lemonade, a koala rides a bike, and a crocodile suns himself. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Most Unusual Baby Gifts Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Have Received So Far," 24 Oct. 2018 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their way to the southeastern Australian state of New South Wales after spending yesterday in Sydney, visiting everything from the city's famous Opera House to the koalas at the Taronga Zoo. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Chose a Blazer by Her Friend Serena Williams for the Second Day of the Royal Tour of Australia," 16 Oct. 2018 Getty Images After a whirlwind trip of Australia featuring koalas, a whole lot of baby talk, and endless adorable PDA moments, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have now begun the second leg of their royal tour. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Decided Not To Wear a Tiara for Her First State Dinner," 23 Oct. 2018 But rather than ask the royal couple for a selfie or for clues about the name of their upcoming baby, the koala just hung out, looking deeply unimpressed. Dan Barna, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Tried (and Failed) to Get a Koala's Attention in Australia," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'koala.' 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 koala

1802, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for koala

Dharuk (Australian aboriginal language of the Port Jackson area) gula, gulawanʸ

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Dictionary Entries near koala


koa finch

koa haole





Statistics for koala

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for koala

The first known use of koala was in 1802

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English Language Learners Definition of koala

: an Australian animal that has thick gray fur, large hairy ears, sharp claws for climbing, and no tail


ko·​ala | \ kō-ˈä-lə How to pronounce koala (audio) \

Kids Definition of koala

: a tailless Australian animal with thick fur and big hairy ears, sharp claws for climbing, and a pouch like the kangaroo's for carrying its young

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More from Merriam-Webster on koala

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with koala

Spanish Central: Translation of koala

Nglish: Translation of koala for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about koala

Comments on koala

What made you want to look up koala? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having no equal

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