To play possum
Possum Pos"sum, n. [Shortened from opossum.] (Zo["o]l.) An opossum. [Colloq. U. S.] [1913 Webster]

{To play possum}, {To act possum}, to feign ignorance, indifference or inattention, with the intent to deceive; to dissemble; -- in allusion to the habit of the opossum, which feigns death when attacked or alarmed. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To act possum — Possum Pos sum, n. [Shortened from opossum.] (Zo[ o]l.) An opossum. [Colloq. U. S.] [1913 Webster] {To play possum}, {To act possum}, to feign ignorance, indifference or inattention, with the intent to deceive; to dissemble; in allusion to the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • play possum — {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To pretend to be asleep. * /Johnny seemed to be fully asleep, but his mother knew that he was playing possum./ 2. To stay quiet for self protection; try to escape attention by inactivity. * /The rabbit played possum under …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • play possum — {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To pretend to be asleep. * /Johnny seemed to be fully asleep, but his mother knew that he was playing possum./ 2. To stay quiet for self protection; try to escape attention by inactivity. * /The rabbit played possum under …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • play possum — To pretend to be dead or sleeping. His younger sister jumped on him because she knew he was just playing possum …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • play possum — ► play possum 1) pretend to be unconscious or dead (as an opossum does when threatened). 2) feign ignorance. Main Entry: ↑possum …   English terms dictionary

  • play possum — verb to pretend to be dead (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑feign, ↑sham, ↑pretend, ↑affect, ↑dissemble • Verb Frames: Somebody s * * * 1) pretend to be asleep or unconscious wh …   Useful english dictionary

  • play possum — to pretend to be dead or sleeping so that someone will not annoy or attack you. I don t think he s really asleep. He s playing possum …   New idioms dictionary

  • play\ possum — v. phr. informal 1. To pretend to be asleep. Johnny seemed to be fully asleep, but his mother knew that he was playing possum. 2. To stay quiet for self protection; try to escape attention by inactivity. The rabbit played possum under the bushes …   Словарь американских идиом

  • play possum — verb a) to feign death; to remain quiet and still to escape attention or remain undetected; to lay low. Thinking fast, we played possum hoping the bear wouldnt bother us. b) to feign sleep, illness, etc. The soldier played possum, fooling the… …   Wiktionary

  • play possum —    When someone plays possum, they pretend to be dead or asleep in order to avoid something they don t want to do.     Sarah s not asleep. She s just playing possum because she doesn t want to come swimming …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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