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

Specialists, such as koalas, have a limited range and diet. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "The World Is Our Niche," 3 June 2019 Virologists are looking for answers in the sick koalas of Queensland. Quanta Magazine, "Killer Virus Is Invading Koala DNA," 4 Mar. 2015 See kangaroos and koalas up close at the Wild Life Sydney Zoo. Teen Vogue, "10 Best Places To Study Abroad: Our Favorite Study-Abroad Cities," 25 Mar. 2019 But don’t forget the present that started it all: a stuffed koala with a baby joey and a pair of baby Ugg boots. Vogue, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Getting Baby Gifts From Around the World," 16 Apr. 2019 One koala was confronted with that exact situation when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited it during their royal tour of Australia on Tuesday (October 16). Dan Barna, Glamour, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Tried (and Failed) to Get a Koala's Attention in Australia," 16 Oct. 2018 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

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

22 Jun 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

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