Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An arboreal Australian marsupial (Phascolarctos cinereus) that has dense grayish fur, large ears, and sharp claws and feeds chiefly on the leaves of eucalyptus trees.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tree-dwelling marsupial that resembles a small bear with a broad head, large ears and sharp claws, mainly found in eastern Australia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tailless furry marsupial (Phascolarctos cinereus), found in Australia. The female carries her young on the back of her neck. Called also Australian bear, koala bear, native bear, and native sloth. The koala lives almost all of its life in trees, moves sluggishly like a sloth, and eats eucalyptus leaves almost exclusively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A marsupial mammal of Australia, Phascolarctos cinercus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. sluggish tailless Australian arboreal marsupial with grey furry ears and coat; feeds on eucalyptus leaves and bark

Etymologies

Probably from misreading of earlier coola, koolah, from Dharuk gula, gulawany.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dharug gula or gulawany. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Kriston Capps, long-time koala afficionado, submits this video to support his contention that the koala is the cutest animal of them all:

    Matthew Yglesias » Friday Cute Animal Blogging

  • Indeed, the name koala is thought to come from a name in one Aboriginal language meaning "doesn't drink."

    Taipei Times

  • The little marsupials who are NOT bears of any kind despite their being commonly referred to as koala bears are especially vulnerable to the horrendous fires blazing across southern Australia.

    DesignerBlog

  • The koala is the quaintest little creature imaginable.

    Peeps At Many Lands: Australia

  • Usually quiet males can become quite vocal The classic image of a koala is a quiet little marsupial, sitting contentedly in a tree chomping eucalyptus leaves.

    BBC News - Home

  • "So in evolutionary terms the koala had to make a decision."

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • In fact the koala is a she and after being christened Sam, is taken to a wildlife shelter.

    WN.com - Articles related to Smoke from Russian wildfires reaches Kazakhstan

  • The penalty for deliberately shooting a koala is a $225,000 fine or two years in prison.

    NEWS.com.au | Top Stories

  • "Harming a koala is a serious offence under the Nature Conservation Act in Queensland and a maximum penalty of up to $300,000 or time in prison does apply."

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

  • Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said harming a koala was a serious offence under the Nature Conservation Act and she hoped the culprit was found and faced the full force of the law.

    Latest News - Yahoo!7 News

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Comments

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  • churlish, ewok-ish eucalyptus junkie.

    June 27, 2009

  • C'mon WeirdNet, tail or no tail?

    September 19, 2008

  • Koala fingerprints (yes, they have them) are virtually indistinguishable from human fingerprints. Scroll down on this site for a mug shot.

    April 20, 2008

  • Also called the Australian or Native Bear, though it is not a bear but an arboreal marsupial.

    Usages: 1902 Daily Chron. 3 July 3/4 "The koala of Australia, has also a very big caecum."
    1937 C. KEARTON I visit Antipodes x. 132 "The Koala Bear was first seen by a young explorer who journeyed to the Blue Mountains in 1798."

    February 7, 2007