possum

noun
pos·sum | \ˈpä-səm \

Definition of possum 

1 : opossum sense 1 Well into the twentieth century in the rural South, a possum hunt remained a favorite cold-weather sport …— Evan Jones

2 : 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 also cuscus, phalanger

Examples of possum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All their stories involved possums and rabbits and bears. Marc Myers, WSJ, "A Pulitzer-Prize Winner Learned Storytelling in the Deep South," 3 July 2018 Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders and more. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Delta Airlines Bans Pit Bulls as Service and Support Animals," 23 June 2018 The goal is to rid the nation, which has no native land mammals besides bats, of feral cats, rats, possums, stoats and other predators by the year 2050. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Australian Feral Cats Eat More Than a Million Reptiles Per Day," 26 June 2018 Customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders and more. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "Delta Airlines Bans Pit Bulls as Service and Support Animals," 23 June 2018 Adams rushed up with his knife, but Foster panicked and forgot to play possum, as Adams had told him to do. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 Neither were the rats spotted earlier gnawing on the carcass, or a possum seen in the area. Rob O'dell, azcentral, "What dead pigs can teach us about missing bodies in the Arizona desert," 5 July 2018 Almost 250,000 service and support animals are carried by Delta annually, and customers have tried flying with everything from comfort turkeys and gliding possums to snakes and spiders, according to the airline. Jonathan Sperling, Fortune, "New Delta Air Lines Policy Bars Customers From Flying With Pit Bulls as Emotional Support Animals," 21 June 2018 Dear Cathy, The information on possums being immune to rattlesnake venom was especially good news. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, "Readers share how they accommodate wildlife," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'possum.' 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 possum

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

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The first known use of possum was in 1613

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More Definitions for possum

possum

noun
pos·sum | \ˈpä-səm \

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