pos·​sum ˈpä-səm How to pronounce possum (audio)
: opossum sense 1
Well into the twentieth century in the rural South, a possum hunt remained a favorite cold-weather sport …Evan Jones
: any of various small to medium-sized, nocturnal, chiefly arboreal marsupial mammals (especially families Phalangeridae, Pseudocheiridae, and Petauridae) of Australia and New Guinea that have thick, soft fur, a prehensile tail, and a rounded head with protruding eyes and that are mainly herbivorous
A member of Australia's rich endemic possum population, it is named for its lemur-like eyes.Jo Chandler

Note: Possums have a head and body ranging in length from 12 1/2 to 25 1/2 inches (320 to 655 mm) with a tail nearly as long.

see cuscus, phalanger

Examples of possum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Awesome Possums, 1 p.m. at Harmonie State Park in New Harmony: How awesome are possums? Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 9 May 2024 In addition to dogs, PGC is most concerned for the safety of bears and critters like possums, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes, as well as birds of prey. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, 7 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for possum 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'possum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of possum was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near possum

Cite this Entry

“Possum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possum. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


pos·​sum ˈpäs-əm How to pronounce possum (audio)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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