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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for phalanger

Historical Examples of phalanger

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

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