Opossum meaning

ə-pŏsəm, pŏsəm
Frequency:
Any of various nocturnal, usually arboreal marsupials of the family Didelphidae of the Americas, especially Didelphis virginiana of North and Central America, having a thick coat, a long snout, and a long prehensile tail.
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A possum of Australia and adjacent islands.
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Any of various families (esp. Didelphidae) of marsupials; esp., any of a small, omnivorous, tree-dwelling American species (Didelphis marsupialis) with a ratlike, prehensile tail, that is active at night and becomes motionless when endangered.
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Any American marsupial of the family Didelphidae. The common species of the United States is Didelphis virginiana.
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Origin of opossum

  • Virginia Algonquian

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Powhatan aposoum (“white animal”), from Proto-Algonquian *wa·p-aʔθemw (“white dog”); compare Ojibwe waabasim (“white dog”).

    From Wiktionary