possum


Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

pos·sum

 (pŏs′əm)
n.
1. Chiefly Southern US An opossum. See Note at tater.
2. Any of several nocturnal arboreal marsupials of the suborder Phalangeriformes, native to Australia and adjacent islands and introduced elsewhere.

[Short for opossum.]

possum

(ˈpɒsəm)
n
1. (Animals) an informal name for opossum1
2. (Animals) Also called: phalanger Austral and NZ any of various Australasian arboreal marsupials, such as Trichosurus vulpecula (brush-tailed phalanger), having dense fur and a long tail: family Phalangeridae
3. play possum to pretend to be dead, ignorant, asleep, etc, in order to deceive an opponent

pos•sum

(ˈpɒs əm)

n., pl. -sums, (esp. collectively) -sum.
2. any of many marsupials of the families Phalangeridae, Petauridae, and Burramidae, of Australia and neighboring islands.
Idioms:
play possum, to feign sleep or death.
[1725–35]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.possum - nocturnal arboreal marsupial having a naked prehensile tail found from southern North America to northern South Americapossum - nocturnal arboreal marsupial having a naked prehensile tail found from southern North America to northern South America
marsupial, pouched mammal - mammals of which the females have a pouch (the marsupium) containing the teats where the young are fed and carried
common opossum, Didelphis marsupialis, Didelphis virginiana - omnivorous opossum of the eastern United States; noted for feigning death when in danger; esteemed as food in some areas; considered same species as the crab-eating opossum of South America
crab-eating opossum - South American opossum
2.possum - small furry Australian arboreal marsupials having long usually prehensile tailspossum - small furry Australian arboreal marsupials having long usually prehensile tails
marsupial, pouched mammal - mammals of which the females have a pouch (the marsupium) containing the teats where the young are fed and carried
family Phalangeridae, Phalangeridae - phalangers; koalas
cuscus - woolly-haired monkey-like arboreal marsupial of New Guinea and northern Australia
flying opossum, flying phalanger, flying squirrel - nocturnal phalangers that move with gliding leaps using parachute-like folds of skin along the sides of the body
kangaroo bear, koala, koala bear, native bear, Phascolarctos cinereus - sluggish tailless Australian arboreal marsupial with grey furry ears and coat; feeds on eucalyptus leaves and bark
Translations
تَظاهُر بالجَهْل، تَماوُت
vačice
opossumpungrotte
OpossumPossum
apsimesti miegančiamapsimesti negyvam
keseli sıçan

possum

[ˈpɒsəm] N (US) → zarigüeya f
to play possum (= sleeping) → fingir estar dormido; (= dead) → hacerse el muerto

possum

[ˈpɒsəm] (mainly US) nopossum m

possum

nOpossum nt, → Beutelratte f; to play possum (sleeping) → sich schlafend stellen; (dead) → sich tot stellen

possum

(ˈposəm) noun
(American) opossum.
play possum
to pretend to be dead or asleep.
References in classic literature ?
He cocked his head to one side, shut one eye and put the other one to the hole, like a possum looking down a jug; then he glanced up with his bright eyes, gave a wink or two with his wings--which signifies gratification, you understand--and says, 'It looks like a hole, it's located like a hole--blamed if I don't believe it IS a hole!'
He's about as big as a big 'possum, and his face is striped, black and white.
Never imposing upon any one myself, I suffered no one to play the possum with me.
Talk of the liberty of the treed possum, but do not use the word in connexion with a man bottled up in an office, with Roland Bean guarding the only exit.
Those tangy frosty afternoons, when he had been forced to clean barns and plow while the other boys went rabbit and possum hunting or nutting, were afternoons whose loss he still mourned.
We called them Peggy and Possum. So she's named after the original Peggy."
If these tactics fail, the opossum has one last trick up its sleeve--"playing 'possum." In an involuntary response similar to fainting, the opossum rolls over on its side, with lips drawn back, teeth bared, and tongue hanging to the side, mimicking a dead animal.
They add that the possum loves to ride piggyback and think the two grieving animals found each other at the perfect moment.
Possum-sensitive eucalypt canopies were generally healthy as evidenced by the existence of many large trees that were later killed within the exclosures--they could not have survived and grown to those sizes with possum over-browsing.
The mutation reduces the amount of melanin produced by the animal, giving its fur an unnatural goldish colour; the possum was later named after the Japanese cartoon character Pikachu, The Age reported.
The titular possum is a grotesque puppet consisting of a human head with the legs of a spider which Philip keeps in a battered leather holdall, and repeatedly tries to destroy.