- a prehensile-tailed marsupial, Didelphis virginiana, of the eastern U.S., the female having an abdominal pouch in which its young are carried: noted for the habit of feigning death when in danger.
- any of various animals of related genera.
Origin of opossum
Examples from the Web for opossum
Historical Examples of opossum
A little higher in the scale stand the kangaroo and the opossum.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
Among mammals, the best-known example is probably the Opossum.The Industries of Animals
The opossum is famous for carrying its young in a pouch in front of the body.Boy Scouts Handbook
Boy Scouts of America
It had a gray coat, and a tapering muzzle like that of an opossum.Adventures of a Young Naturalist
The next day, to our great satisfaction, the Opossum hove in sight.Salt Water
W. H. G. Kingston
- any thick-furred marsupial, esp Didelphis marsupialis (common opossum), of the family Didelphidae of S North, Central, and South America, having an elongated snout and a hairless prehensile tailSometimes (informal) shortened to: possum
- Also called (Austral and NZ): possum any of various similar animals, esp the phalanger, Trichosurus vulpecula, of the New Zealand bush
Word Origin for opossum
Word Origin and History for opossum
1610, from Powhatan (Algonquian) opassum, "equivalent to a proto-Algonquian term meaning 'white dog'" [Bright].