possum

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Derived from opossum by apheresis.

Pronunciation[edit]

A Brushtail Possum in Australia

Noun[edit]

possum (plural possums)

  1. (US) An opossum, a marsupial of the family Didelphidae of the Americas.
  2. Any of the marsupials in several families of the order Diprotodontia of Australia and neighboring islands.

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Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From potis (able, capable) + sum (I am).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

present active possum, present infinitive posse, perfect active potuī ([[irregular; no passive]])

  1. I am able; I can.
    Tunc, modo edere non potuit.
    At that time, he just could not eat.
    Possum Latine loqui.
    I can speak Latin.
    Potesne mihi succurrere, quaeso?
    Can you help me please?
    Si probare possemus Ligarium in Āfricā omnino non fuisse.
    If we could prove that Ligarius was not at all in Africa.

Inflection[edit]

This verb is irregular, but resembles sum prefixed with pot-. Several contractions and simplifications occur, however: -ts- > -ss-, -tf- > -t-, -tess- > -ss-.

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