- any viviparous, nonplacental mammal of the order Marsupialia, comprising the opossums, kangaroos, wombats, and bandicoots, the females of most species having a marsupium containing the mammary glands and serving as a receptacle for the young.
- pertaining to, resembling, or having a marsupium.
- of or relating to the marsupials.
Origin of marsupial
Examples from the Web for marsupial
These countries are, in fact, the head-quarters of the marsupial animals.
"Not even the marsupial lion, Bram," grinned Dodd, undismayed.
Mr. Newman suggests that they were "marsupial bats" (Zoologist, p. 129).Omphalos
Philip Henry Gosse
There are "marsupial" or epipubic bones attached to the pelvis.The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia
Frank Evers Beddard
This was the region of gigantic fowls, and of marsupial quadrupeds.The Romance of Natural History, Second Series
Philip Henry Gosse
- any mammal of the order Marsupialia, in which the young are born in an immature state and continue development in the marsupium. The order occurs mainly in Australia and South and Central America and includes the opossums, bandicoots, koala, wombats, and kangaroos
- of, relating to, or belonging to the Marsupialia
- of or relating to a marsupium
Word Origin and History for marsupial
1690s, with -al (1) + Modern Latin marsupialis "having a pouch," coined from Late Latin marsupium "pouch, purse" (Classical Latin marsuppium), from Greek marsipion, diminutive of marsipos "bag, pouch," of foreign, possibly oriental, origin. As a noun from 1805.
- Any of various mammals of the order Marsupialia, whose young are very undeveloped when born and continue developing outside their mother's body attached to one of her nipples. Most marsupials have longer hindlegs than forelimbs, and the females usually have pouches in which they carry their young. Kangaroos, opossums, and koalas are marsupials.