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Tasmanian devil

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noun
  1. a small, predacious marsupial, Sarcophilus harrisii, of Tasmania, having a black coat with white patches: its dwindling population is now confined to isolated areas.

Origin of Tasmanian devil

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil

noun
  1. a small ferocious carnivorous marsupial, Sarcophilus harrisi, of Tasmania, having black fur with pale markings, strong jaws, and short legs: family DasyuridaeAlso called: ursine dasyure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tasmanian devil

Tasmanian devil

n.

so called since at least 1829, from its propensity for killing young lambs (other voracious fish or animals also have been named devil).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper