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Any of several nocturnal marsupials of the family Phalangeridae of New Guinea, Australia, and adjacent islands, having large eyes, small ears, a pointed snout, and a long prehensile tail.

[New Latin Cuscus, former genus name, ultimately (probably via Dutch koeskoes) from a local word for the marsupials in a language of the Moluccas.]


n, pl -cuses
(Animals) any of several large nocturnal phalangers of the genus Phalanger, of N Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands, having dense fur, prehensile tails, large eyes, and a yellow nose
[C17: New Latin, probably from a native name in New Guinea]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cuscus - woolly-haired monkey-like arboreal marsupial of New Guinea and northern Australiacuscus - woolly-haired monkey-like arboreal marsupial of New Guinea and northern Australia
opossum, phalanger, possum - small furry Australian arboreal marsupials having long usually prehensile tails
genus Phalanger - type genus of the family Phalangeridae: cuscuses
References in periodicals archive ?
Larger animals including crocodiles, pigs, wallabies, tree kangaroos, cuscuses and dugongs are hunted by men whist young men join the elders in catching possums, bandicoots, echidnas, small marsupials, birds and fruit bats.
Today, tracts of lower montane habitat in New Guinea can support six or more giant rats, together with 3-4 cuscuses, several ringtail possums, along with other small mammals.
Cuscuses do look something like monkeys, but they don't swing through the trees.