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 cuscus, phalanger

Examples of possum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And how do these women not know the difference between a possum and an armadillo? Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 8 Mar. 2022 Beyond all that, pace yourself, drink plenty of water and avoid that possum stew. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 14 June 2022 The rescue team headed to the possum's location on the mooring close to the pier. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 29 Mar. 2022 But somehow, a possum ended up hugging a buoy in the Tasman Sea before being rescued by the authorities. People Staff, PEOPLE.com, 29 Mar. 2022 Dehairing a shoat is the sort of thing Crews knew all about, along with cooking possum, cleaning a rooster’s craw, making moonshine, trapping birds, tanning hides, and getting rid of screwworms. Casey Cep, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 The Possum Person — To whoever dressed up in a suit and massive possum mask, thank you for making my Saturday afternoon. Ryan Reed, SPIN, 28 Mar. 2022 Her most interesting Texas encounters to date include a bucket full of rattlesnakes, accidentally standing on an alligator in Lake Corpus Christi, and befriending a possum with a jar of beef fat. Amanda Ogle, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2022 Then in the present, Billy's nephew Sean turns out to be the prime suspect in the shooting death of possum-loving petty officer Danna Calley. Sara Netzley, EW.com, 15 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of possum

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries Near possum



possum belly

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Last Updated

3 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Possum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/possum. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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

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