phalanger

[fuh-lan-jer]

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
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British Dictionary definitions for phalanger

phalanger

noun
  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