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 Oscar-winner tapped into his recent role as optimistic koala Buster Moon in Sing 2 and joined Jimmy Fallon to jingle some bells for the holidays. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 15 Dec. 2021 McConaughey, who returns in Sing 2 as Buster Moon, the optimistic koala who loves show business, also shared a photo of him smiling with his wife and children. Charmaine Patterson, PEOPLE.com, 14 Dec. 2021 The koala later was released in a forest — well away from the freeway. Author: Rod Mcguirk, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Feb. 2021 The koala later was released in a forest — well away from the freeway. Rod Mcguirk, Star Tribune, 9 Feb. 2021 Now, imagine if that cat or dog was actually a koala! Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 23 Sep. 2020 Fires ravaged Australia, killing hundreds of koalas. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, 4 May 2020 Tens of thousands of koalas had no way of escaping. Matt Simon, Wired, 21 Jan. 2020 Thirteen people and thousands of koalas have died in wildfires over the past three months. The Christian Science Monitor, 31 Dec. 2019 See More

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.

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 haole



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Cite this Entry

“Koala.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/koala. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for koala


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

More from Merriam-Webster on koala

Nglish: Translation of koala for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about koala


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