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[pos-uh m] /ˈpɒs əm/

Australian. any of various phalangers, especially of the genus Trichosurus.
play possum, Informal.

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

1610s, shortened form of opossum. Phrase play possum is first recorded 1822.
see: play possum


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