possum

noun
pos·​sum | \ ˈpä-səm How to pronounce possum (audio) \

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

According to a police warrant, the suspects beat the mother possum with a baseball bat and poured a mixture of bleach and ammonia on the four babies inside an orange box. Ben Brasch, ajc, "Cops: Cobb teens Snapchat their killing of mother possum and 4 babies," 14 May 2018 Apparently neither birds nor squirrels nor possums are willing to eat them. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Yes, the Surinam cherry is edible, but that doesn't mean you're going to like it | Miami Herald," 10 May 2018 Last month, Eames posted a video on his Instagram page showing his dog eating a dead possum. William Lee, chicagotribune.com, "Charges upgraded to felony for man accused of posting videos of dog killing animals," 13 May 2018 New Zealand has launched an ambitious plan to rid the country of predators such as rats, stoats and possums that have decimated native flora and fauna. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "Communities Raise Their Voices on Genetic Engineering," 27 July 2018 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 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

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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The first known use of possum was in 1613

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More Definitions for possum

possum

noun
pos·​sum | \ ˈpä-səm How to pronounce possum (audio) \

Kids Definition of possum

More from Merriam-Webster on possum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with possum

Spanish Central: Translation of possum

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