mar·​su·​pi·​al | \ mär-ˈsü-pē-əl How to pronounce marsupial (audio) \

Definition of marsupial

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: any of an order (Marsupialia) of mammals comprising kangaroos, wombats, bandicoots, opossums, and related animals that do not develop a true placenta and that usually have a pouch on the abdomen of the female which covers the teats and serves to carry the young



Definition of marsupial (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or being a marsupial
2 : of, relating to, or forming a marsupium

Examples of marsupial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After gently wiggling the possum free from her dog's fur, the pet parent gives viewers a full view of the adorable marsupial. Charmaine Patterson,, 4 Apr. 2022 But when threatened, this furry marsupial will create a diversion by expelling offspring from its pouch by relaxing the muscles, allowing its charge to fall to the ground. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 8 May 2022 Implant the embryo into a female marsupial such as a quoll, and watch the quoll give birth to a thylacine baby. Frances Vinall, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 George came face-to-face with a bilby, a rat-like marsupial which is also Australia's version of the Easter bunny, which was named after him. Stephanie Petit,, 17 Apr. 2022 Zoo staff immediately started searching for the missing wallaby, and Memphis police joined in the effort, the zoo said on Facebook in a press release asking for help finding the missing marsupial. Theresa Waldrop And Melissa Alonso, CNN, 15 Apr. 2022 Conservationists hope that the dogs will stay near the solitary marsupial and ward off fox attacks. Anthony Ham, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Nov. 2021 The Thylacine, a carnivore also referred to as the Tasmanian tiger and Tasmanian wolf, was a (mostly) nocturnal marsupial that preyed on rodents and kangaroos. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, 21 Apr. 2022 The dusky pademelon is a marsupial found on the islands around Indonesia and on New Guinea. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 10 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For the most part, our marsupial controls really well. Mitch Wallace, Forbes, 28 May 2022 The lab plans to develop a biobank of frozen marsupial cells so individuals could be cloned and released. Frances Vinall, Washington Post, 26 May 2022 Outdoors, the renderings show that a metal roof with light fixtures will go where Lakefront had an old tent under the marsupial Holton Street Bridge. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4 Apr. 2022 According to Rainforest Rescue, an Australian nonprofit organization focused on environmental conservation, the Daintree is home to 30% of Australia's marsupial species and 20% of its reptile species. Lilit Marcus, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Female kangaroos rarely have twins, but marsupial words can have two or even three joeys. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 Aug. 2021 Experts say removing the devils may not cause detrimental effects to new marsupial populations and may encourage little penguin populations to return to Maria Island, Live Science reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 June 2021 Shortly after ovulation, marsupial moms secrete layers of mucus and protein around their eggs, covering them in a hard, protective shell. Megan Molteni, STAT, 23 July 2021 The Tasmanian devil is the world's largest surviving marsupial carnivore and typically lives for up to six years in the wild. Julia Musto, Fox News, 28 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of marsupial


1805, in the meaning defined above


1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for marsupial


from the base of New Latin Marsupialia, order name, from neuter plural of marsūpiālis "of a pouch," from marsūpium "pouch, marsupium" + -ālis -al entry 1


borrowed from New Latin marsūpiālis — more at marsupial entry 1

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Time Traveler for marsupial

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The first known use of marsupial was in 1805

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Dictionary Entries Near marsupial

Marston Moor


marsupial anteater

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Marsupial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for marsupial


mar·​su·​pi·​al | \ mär-ˈsü-pē-əl How to pronounce marsupial (audio) \

Kids Definition of marsupial

: a mammal (as a kangaroo or opossum) that does not develop a true placenta and usually has a pouch on the female's abdomen in which the young develop and are carried

More from Merriam-Webster on marsupial

Nglish: Translation of marsupial for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about marsupial


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