[ pos-uh m ]
/ ˈpɒs əm /


Australian. any of various phalangers, especially of the genus Trichosurus.

Idioms for possum

    play possum, Informal.
    1. to feign sleep or death.
    2. to dissemble or pretend ignorance: The baseball broke the window, but the children played possum when asked who had thrown it.

Origin of possum

1605–15, Americanism; short for opossum
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for possum

British Dictionary definitions for possum

/ (ˈpɒsəm) /


an informal name for opossum (def. 1)
Also called: phalanger Australian and NZ any of various Australasian arboreal marsupials, such as Trichosurus vulpecula (brush-tailed phalanger), having dense fur and a long tail: family Phalangeridae
play possum to pretend to be dead, ignorant, asleep, etc, in order to deceive an opponent
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

Idioms and Phrases with possum


see play possum.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.