n pl , -sums, -sum
1 any thick-furred marsupial, esp. Didelphis marsupialis (common opossum), of the family Didelphidae of S North, Central, and South America, having an elongated snout and a hairless prehensile tail, (Sometimes (informal) shortened to)
2 (Also called (Austral. and N.Z.))
possum any of various similar animals, esp. the phalanger, Trichosurus vulpecula, of the New Zealand bush (C17: from Algonquian aposoum; related to Delaware apässum, literally: white beast)
n (in New Zealand) a block of bush allocated to a licensed opossum trapper
n any of various shrimplike crustaceans of the genera Mysis, Praunus, etc., of the order Mysidacea, in which the females carry the eggs and young around in a ventral brood pouch
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