Definition of bilby in English:


nounPlural bilbies

  • another term for rabbit-eared bandicoot
    • ‘While everybody sounded pretty keen about saving the bilby at Currawinya, not everyone thinks large enclosures are a good idea.’
    • ‘If you want to save the endangered bilby you don't do it because it is already fitter than its competitors, you do it because the bilby has value to you and you want to protect it for that reason.’
    • ‘North of Birdsville, in a vast area of semi arid desert west of the Diaminatina river, lives Queensland's last populations of wild bilbies, perhaps a thousand bilbies live there.’
    • ‘I decided that a toy rabbit would be kind of cute (somehow a toy bilby just doesn't appeal to me as much) so I thought I could try knitting one.’
    • ‘Animals that most people in the area had never seen-such as the squirrel-sized kangaroo known as a potoroo, the rabbit-eared bandicoot or bilby, and the platypus-were back and reproducing in the refuge.’
    • ‘The first captive-bred bilbies were released into their new home at Currawinya National Park.’
    • ‘I mean, we have an enormous wealth of reptiles, the richest in the world, our insects are amazing, our marsupials, our numbats and our bandicoots and our bilbies - how many people have seen a bilby or know what a bilby is?’
    • ‘Aborigines and white men alike hunted bilbies for their fur in earlier times.’
    • ‘Everyone abuzz about the bilby stamp, the latest stomach virus.’
    • ‘Tragically though, sanctuaries like this are becoming the only place to see creatures such as bilbies, bettongs and bandicoots.’
    • ‘If wildfires continue we will see the added disappearance of bilbies, mala, long-tailed dunnart and the Centralian rockrat from our rangelands.’
    • ‘Pete and Frank are two Aussies blokes who championed the endangered bilby, and four years ago, began a campaign to create a sanctuary.’
    • ‘The Shark Bay project covered all aspects of conservation concerning bilbies, dugongs and other flora and fauna in the area.’
    • ‘This marsupial family includes 4 genera and 10 species of bandicoots and bilbies.’
    • ‘If you look at just the numbers of small native animals like woylies and potoroos and bilbies, at the end of '98 we had 900, 2001, three years later we had 2,500.’
    • ‘Well, introduced species have devastated species such as bilbies on the land, and we believe that the same sort of thing is happening in the sea.’
    • ‘And as we celebrate the release of endangered bilbies behind a feral proof fence in Queensland, we'll ask whether conservation fences are really the answer for at-risk animals or merely a psychological fix for us humans.’
    • ‘Older classifications divide the bilbies and bandicoots into two families, Thylacomyidae and Peramelidae, respectively.’
    • ‘When we started, people didn't know what bilbies and boodies and bettons and numbats were, and now they do.’


Late 19th century: probably from an Aboriginal language.