Dictionary.com

opossum

[ uh-pos-uhm, pos-uhm ]
/ əˈpɒs əm, ˈpɒs əm /
Save This Word!

noun, plural o·pos·sums, (especially collectively) o·pos·sum.
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.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Also called possum.

Origin of opossum

First recorded in 1600–10, Americanism; from Virginia Algonquian (English spelling) opassom, opussum, aposoum (equivalent to Proto-Algonquian (unattested) wa˙p- “white” + (unattested) -aʔθemw- “dog”)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use opossum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for opossum

opossum
/ (əˈpɒsəm) /

noun plural -sums or -sum
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

C17: from Algonquian aposoum; related to Delaware apässum, literally: white beast
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
FEEDBACK