OPOS'SUM, n. A quadruped of the genus Didelphis. It has a prehensile tail, like some of the monkeys, and is distinguished by a pouch or false belly, in which it protects and carries its young. The name is also given to other species of the genus, some of which want the pouch.
O-POS'SUM, n. [This name is pronounced possum, which perhaps may be its true orthography.]
The popular name of several species of Didelphis, a genus of marsupiate carnivorous mammals. One species only of seventeen inhabits the United States, and this is one of the six species whose females have an abdominal pouch, in which they protect and carry their young. The Didelphis Virginiana has a prehensile tail by which it easily suspends itself.
- Any American marsupial of
the genera Didelphys and Chironectes. The common
species of the United States is Didelphys