Definition of thylacine in US English:



  • A doglike carnivorous marsupial with stripes across the rump, found only in Tasmania. There have been no confirmed sightings since one was captured in 1933, and it is probably now extinct.

    Thylacinus cynocephalus, family Thylacinidae

    Also called Tasmanian tiger
    • ‘The Hunter is an account of a corporately funded mercenary and his pursuit of a mythic thylacine - a Tasmanian Tiger.’
    • ‘Dingoes were originally pack animals and Australia's largest carnivores, and are believed to have caused the extinction of the thylacine and Tasmanian devil on the mainland.’
    • ‘In Australia, he predicted with great regret the extinction of the thylacine and called the authorities short-sighted for not protecting red kangaroos.’
    • ‘The ‘Queensland tiger’ sounds very similar to the thylacine (marsupial wolf) that went extinct in Australia.’
    • ‘The dingo competed with the thylacine for food - and also ate it.’
    • ‘There are no records of either thylacines or dingoes (Canis lupus dingo) having ever lived on the island.’
    • ‘We have living animals that are closely related to thylacines like Tasmania Devils so the maps for how to put this back together again are very, very definitely available to us.’


Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Thylacinus (genus name), from Greek thulakos ‘pouch’.