Definition of possum in English:



  • 1North American informal An opossum.

    • ‘A favourite southern dish is possum and taters: the opossum is parboiled, then salted and peppered and roasted in a pan with peeled, roasted sweet potatoes.’
  • 2A tree-dwelling Australasian marsupial that typically has a prehensile tail.

    • ‘The model in the center wears a possum fur coat to complete the look.’
    • ‘The main predators which are depleting the bird population in native forest are possums, stoats, rats and mice.’
    • ‘We've got tiny little radios that we can put on the honey possums now.’
    • ‘It is also my first chance to see the wonderfully unique wildlife here; kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, pademelons, possums, and various unique birds.’
    • ‘The Plaintiff acquires brush tail possums - which are harvested in this State.’
    • ‘The challenge, therefore, was to vaccinate the nocturnal, tree-dwelling possums.’
    • ‘The Plaintiff has a licence to take and hold brush tail possums from the Department of Parks Wildlife and Heritage in Tasmania.’
    • ‘A large fat possum was caught in bright blue light, hissed and ran up the nearest tree.’
    • ‘I followed his gaze and there on the eave of the neighbor's house sat a fat possum.’
    • ‘Possum populations have been drastically reduced, resulting in significant improvements in forest health.’
    • ‘Leonie Lamont found a dead possum in the car park which had fallen out of its tree overnight.’
    • ‘It is what we, as carers of koalas, birds, possums, macropods (wallabies, kangaroos etc.) and other wildlife carers are trained to do.’
    • ‘Like these bats, honey possums feed by probing flowers with their tongues.’
    • ‘In Tasmania we have such a huge amount of wildlife: brush tail possums, all sorts of animals that at a glimpse, at a distance in poor light or whatever, can appear to be a fox.’
    • ‘Many of these products come with a label that reads, " Thank you for buying possum fur.’
    • ‘No, the aim is not to decimate the possum population.’
    • ‘Only through world wide marketing of possum fur products can this pest be safely controlled.’
    • ‘Maybe you would see koalas, wombats, echidnas, brush tail and ring tail possums and emus if you're lucky.’
    • ‘There are a variety of possums, early kangaroos, koalas, wombats and quolls, as well as marsupial groups that are now completely extinct.’
    • ‘The last honey possum collected in the Perth metro area was in Shenton Park in 1941.’


Early 17th century: shortening of opossum.