phalanger

noun
pha·​lan·​ger | \ fə-ˈlan-jər How to pronounce phalanger (audio) , ˈfā-ˌlan- How to pronounce phalanger (audio) \

Definition of phalanger

: any of various small to medium-sized marsupial mammals (family Phalangeridae and related families) of Australia and New Guinea that are chiefly arboreal and nocturnal and that include the possums (see possum sense 2) and cuscuses Well-developed prehensile tails, large and strong claws and a slow, deliberate way of moving have equipped them well for their lives aloft, making the phalangers the marsupial equivalent of monkeys, sloths and squirrels.— John Vandenbeld

First Known Use of phalanger

1770, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for phalanger

New Latin, from Greek phalang-, phalanx

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The first known use of phalanger was in 1770

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Cite this Entry

“Phalanger.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phalanger. Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about phalanger

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