opossum
noun (plural opossums; also opossum) Etymology: earlier apossoun, opassom, Virginia Algonquian, from Algonquian *wa•p- white + *-aʔθemw- dog Date: 1610 1. any of a family (Didelphidae) of American marsupials that usually have a pointed snout and prehensile tail; especially a common omnivorous largely nocturnal mammal (Didelphis virginiana) of North America that has grayish to blackish fur with white on the cheeks and is an expert climber 2. any of several Australian phalangers

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

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  • opossum — [ ɔpɔsɔm ] n. m. • 1640; mot angl. amér., de l algonquin oposon 1 ♦ Espèce de sarigue (marsupiaux) à beau pelage noir, blanc et gris. 2 ♦ Fourrure de cet animal. Manteau d opossum. Par ext. Opossum d Australie : fourrure du renard phalanger… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Opossum — O*pos sum, n. [Of N. American Indian origin.] (Zo[ o]l.) Any American marsupial of the genera {Didelphys} and {Chironectes}; called also {possum}. The common species of the United States is {Didelphys Virginiana}. [1913 Webster] Note: Several… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Opossum — * Opossum spielen. Das Opossum, die amerikanische Beutelratte, stellt sich, wenn angegriffen oder auch nur berührt, augenblicklich todt und lässt alles über sich ergehen; es ist daher ein häufiges und allgemeines Sprichwort von jemand, der sich… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

  • opossum — ☆ opossum [ə päs′əm ] n. pl. opossums or opossum [< AmInd (Algonquian) name, lit., white beast] any of various families (esp. Didelphidae) of marsupials; esp., any of a small, omnivorous, tree dwelling American species (Didelphis marsupialis)… …   English World dictionary

  • Opossum — Opossum, eine Art der Beutelratte (s.d.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Opóssum — Opóssum, s. Beutelratte [Abb. 200] …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • opossum — 1610, from Powhatan (Algonquian) apasum white animal …   Etymology dictionary

  • opossum — s. m. 1. Pequeno marsupial da América e da Austrália, do tamanho de um gato, com focinho pontiagudo, orelhas nuas e comprida cauda escamosa. (Grupo das sarigueias.) 2. Pele desse animal …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • opossum — ► NOUN 1) an American marsupial which has a naked prehensile tail and hind feet with an opposable thumb. 2) Austral./NZ a possum. ORIGIN Algonquian, white dog …   English terms dictionary

  • Opossum — For the Eastern Hemisphere marsupial, see possum. Didelphimorphia[1] Temporal range: Late Cretaceous–Recent …   Wikipedia

  • Opossum — Nom vernaculaire ou nom normalisé ambigu : Le terme « Opossum » s applique en français à plusieurs taxons distincts. Opossum …   Wikipédia en Français

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