• synonyms


  1. any of numerous arboreal marsupials of the family Phalangeridae, of Australia, having foxlike ears and a long, bushy tail.
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Origin of phalanger

1765–75; < French (Buffon) or < New Latin (1780) < Greek phalang-, stem of phálanx phalanx + New Latin -er, of unclear orig.; the name refers to the syndactylous 2nd and 3rd digits of the hind feet
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phalanger

Historical Examples of phalanger

  • This view is in apparent contradiction to an interesting discovery in a specimen of a Phalanger by Dr. Klaatsch.

    The Cambridge Natural History, Vol X., Mammalia

    Frank Evers Beddard

  • The lower jaw has quite the appearance of that of a Macropus or Phalanger, with long and forwardly projecting incisors.

  • The animal, as was pointed out by Dr. Gray, looks very much like a Phalanger.

  • At Rawak the phalanger and the sheepdog in a wild state were the only quadrupeds met with.

British Dictionary definitions for phalanger


  1. any of various Australasian arboreal marsupials, such as Trichosurus vulpecula (brush-tailed phalanger), having dense fur and a long tail: family PhalangeridaeAlso called (Austral. and NZ): possum See also flying phalanger
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Word Origin for phalanger

C18: via New Latin from Greek phalaggion spider's web, referring to its webbed hind toes
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