- any herbivorous marsupial of the family Macropodidae, of Australia and adjacent islands, having a small head, short forelimbs, powerful hind legs used for leaping, and a long, thick tail: several species are threatened or endangered.
Origin of kangaroo
Examples from the Web for kangaroo
And this is not the first time that the kangaroo courts of rural India have made such appalling judgments.How India’s Elites Encourage Rape
July 15, 2014
Capital Cities, "Kangaroo Court" This song has been around for a few weeks, but this video takes it to a whole new level.From Katy Perry to Alice in Chains, the Best Music Videos of the Week
September 7, 2013
I felt as if I were in a literary version of kangaroo court.The Maslin Stain: A Writer Defends Himself Against the NYT Critic
February 1, 2013
“He was just a nice guy,” said Renee, a manager at the Kangaroo gas station.The Seductive Killer Drifter
October 26, 2010
But in the kangaroo figure, the burden is slightly shifted and naught is amiss.The Book of Khalid
A little higher in the scale stand the kangaroo and the opossum.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
He jumps here and there like a kangaroo when he goes on one of his scouting trips.Mixed Faces
"Only I did so want to dress up as a kangaroo," mourned Joan dolefully.The Jolliest School of All</p>
But the most interesting event of the day, by far, was the kangaroo hunt.In Search of the Castaways
- any large herbivorous marsupial of the genus Macropus and related genera, of Australia and New Guinea, having large powerful hind legs, used for leaping, and a long thick tail: family MacropodidaeSee also rat kangaroo, tree kangaroo
- (usually plural) stock exchange an Australian share, esp in mining, land, or a tobacco company
- informal (of a car) to move forward or to cause (a car) to move forward with short sudden jerks, as a result of improper use of the clutch
Word Origin and History for kangaroo
1770, used by Capt. Cook and botanist Joseph Banks, supposedly an aborigine word from northeast Queensland, Australia, usually said to be unknown now in any native language. However, according to Australian linguist R.M.W. Dixon ("The Languages of Australia," Cambridge, 1980), the word probably is from Guugu Yimidhirr (Endeavour River-area Aborigine language) /gaNurru/ "large black kangaroo."
In 1898 the pioneer ethnologist W.E. Roth wrote a letter to the Australasian pointing out that gang-oo-roo did mean 'kangaroo' in Guugu Yimidhirr, but this newspaper correspondence went unnoticed by lexicographers. Finally the observations of Cook and Roth were confirmed when in 1972 the anthropologist John Haviland began intensive study of Guugu Yimidhirr and again recorded /gaNurru/. [Dixon]
Kangaroo court is American English, first recorded 1850 in a Southwestern context (also mustang court), from notion of proceeding by leaps.