from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An omnivorous burrow-dwelling bandicoot (Macrotis lagotis) of arid regions of Australia, having long ears, a long, tapering snout, and strong forelegs with long claws.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Australian desert marsupial, with distinctive large ears and approximately the size of a rabbit.

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

  • noun bandicoot with leathery ears like a rabbit


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

[Yuwaalaraay (Pama-Nyungan language of southeast-central Australia) bilbi.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dharug.


The word bilby has been adopted in honor of undefined.

Help support Wordnik by adopting your own word here.


  • It's the bilby, which is an endangered marsupial that lives in the desert.

    BBC (UK) Homepage main promotional content 2009

  • However a high number of mammal species, 14 percent of the total mammalian fauna, are considered regionally or globally threatened, including the greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis VU), hairy-footed dunnart (Sminthopsis hirtipes), dusky hopping mouse (Notomys fuscus VU), mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda VU), and kowari.

    Simpson desert 2008

  • Several mammal species, including bilby (Macrotis lagotis VU), northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) and golden bandicoot (Isoodon auratus VU), have declined or disappeared altogether from this ecoregion.

    Victoria Plains tropical savanna 2008

  • They fill the same ecological niche as the bunny, only the bunny is better at it, and so since the introduction of the bunny to Australia, bilby numbers have dropped alarmingly.

    Rabbit, rabbit. « A Bird’s Nest 2006

  • Twenty two native mammals are found in the park including dingo Canis familiaris dingo, red kangaroo Macropus rufus, common wallaroo M. robustus, marsupial mole Notoryctes typhlops, spinifex hopping mouse Notomys alexis, several bat species including Australian false vampire Marcoderma gigas (V), bilby Macrotis lagotis (E), occasional short nosed echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus and several small marsupials and native rodents.

    Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Australia 2008

  • Several mammal species, including bilby (Macrotis lagotis VU), northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus), pale field-rat (Rattus tunneyi), golden-backed tree-rat, and golden bandicoot have declined, especially in the lower rainfall lowland portions of this ecoregion.

    Kimberly tropical savanna 2007

  • The park protects important habitat for an isolated population of the vulnerable bilby (Macrotis lagotis).

    Mitchell grass downs 2007

  • The occasion was a ceremony at the Ipswich Nature Centre to officially name the bilby Jessica after Ms Watson, the Young Australian of the Year. | Top Stories 2011

  • Bilby named for solo sailor Jessica Watson THREE rebels met in Ipswich today - larrikin swimmer Dawn Fraser, solo sailor Jessica Watson and a bilby who shouldn't have been born. | Top Stories 2011

  • Jessica the bilby surprised staff at the centre because her mother had failed to breed with three partners and was then thought too old to bear young. | Top Stories 2011


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  • Oh. All this time I thought his name was Bill, and he was just playing off that.

    Now I'm starting to doubt he's even a he. I mean, who knows? Bilby is a real word? Whoops.

    I actually stumbled across this page via the random word feature, of all things. :-)

    November 29, 2007

  • You know they have this campaign now to make chocolate bilbies for Easter. Because the rabbit is a destructive, introduced pest and the bilby is a native, cuddly, innocent chap. With, erm, big ears ... I swear WeirdNET is spying. Anyway, the bilby is a kind of symbol of environmentalism v capitalism.

    Eat me.

    November 29, 2007

  • And I am pleased to see that the bilby we have all come to know and love is an enviromenalist, with or without the bilby being a true animal.

    January 6, 2008

  • 2 × trilby ÷ 3

    April 24, 2008

  • bilbies, not bunnies

    July 11, 2008

  • Easter Bilby propaganda kit

    July 11, 2008

  • "Tired old Easter Bunny has given his job to Bilby. Easter eggs must be delivered all around Australia on time. But how?

    The rabbits will no longer help. Hungry cats and foxes roam Australia, always looking for something to eat.

    How will Easter Bilby and his friends get the job done?"

    - synoposis of 'Easter Bilby's Secret' by Ali Garnett and Kaye Kessing.

    July 11, 2008

  • Of course, you can't just have heathen bilbies taking over as spokesmarsupials for the most important Christian holy day.

    No worries. Turns out bilby is not only a Catholic already, but has actually been canonized within the church:

    July 11, 2008

  • Saint Bilby portrait series

    July 11, 2008

  • Hey bilby, do you read The Australian? Lovely article today: "Rescue helps bilbies beat extinction by a whisker", including a very strikingly composed photograph.

    Then there's this bit: "Rabbits were thought to compete with marsupials for food and to deprive them of sheltering vegetation. Dr McRae said attempts to eradicate rabbits in the reserve had failed, and a decision was made to leave them be. Surprisingly, the bilbies are doing well and may even be controlling rabbit numbers by eating their young."

    October 27, 2008

  • I try not to read The Australian, I really do.

    October 27, 2008

  • Wise bilby. All the same, the photo accompanying the article was a fine one.

    October 28, 2008

  • He caught my ears in a wonderful light.

    October 28, 2008

  • Love it!

    October 28, 2008

  • Yes, fine photo -- and now we know what really happened to Gandalf.

    October 28, 2008

  • Wow. That park really is back of Bourke.

    I liked this line: "They were breeding unassisted, and this means the plan has worked."


    October 28, 2008

  • Thattaway!

    December 31, 2008

  • There once was a red spy named Philby

    Who looked like a don in a trilby

    His contact down under

    Was nicknamed "Brown Thunder"

    - a marsupial traitor called Crash Bandicoot.

    April 9, 2009

  • "bil" is Norwegian for "car", and "by" is Norwegian for "city". Carcity.

    May 17, 2009

  • Vrrooommm! *beep beep goes bilby and runs over frogapplause*

    May 18, 2009

  • So Santa bilby is a scarcity?

    May 19, 2009

  • dagnabbit. gangerh beat me to my modestly clever remark!

    May 19, 2009

  • You deserve to have a phaser setting named after you. Bravo!

    July 3, 2009

  • *bows* When I set phasers to bilby, I hope I have them pointed in the right direction :-7

    July 3, 2009

  • Dear Abby,

    How can I convince bilby to pronounce more of his phrases?

    November 18, 2009

  • bilbycakes: Record more phrases, please.

    November 18, 2009

  • Adjective used when describing pygians (or rock doves). See bilbybuns.

    January 15, 2010

  • Until the marsupial's page is free again, I suppose this is all we've got.

    By way of ineffectual protest, I'm thinking of starting a Twitter account called @FreeBilby, which I will use to raise awareness of this problem.

    Any ideas for what the awareness ribbon should look like?

    June 20, 2011

  • There's a lovely bilby button among the visuals. Does that help?

    June 20, 2011

  • Hm. I wonder what would happen if I were to push this button?

    June 20, 2011

  • Oh! A chocolatey food pellet!

    June 20, 2011

  • "Bilby has been looked up 5,289 times, favorited 0 times, listed 29 times, commented on 31 times, and has a Scrabble score of 12."

    June 20, 2011

  • That chocolatey food pellet might be soylent brown.

    June 20, 2011

  • *pushes button again*

    June 20, 2011

  • These visuals are surprisingly ho-hum, but check out the words that are found in similar contexts.

    July 27, 2011

  • Vasectomy? No wonder the breeding program for my poor endangered species is having little success.

    July 27, 2011

  • It's funny that the Examples section has hauled up something from Errata. A bit like the process of making soylent green.

    July 27, 2011

  • Hee hee! Also, sigh.

    July 27, 2011

  • Hm. Looks like victual is listed there, too. I guess that makes sense.

    July 27, 2011

  • So what's up, leather-ears?



    October 9, 2011

  • Oh no, you've fallen asleep with your tail in the embers again Mr Firefox!

    October 9, 2011

  • I was just looking up type, which led me to antitype, which then led me to antitrope, which I was going to add to my list of tropes, but then I saw that someone had already added it.

    Thank you, bilby.

    November 7, 2011

  • Are you there, bilby?

    November 16, 2011

  • Sort of.

    November 17, 2011

  • Hi, leather-ears! Greetings from San Francisco, aka Baghdad by the Bay.

    November 17, 2011

  • Hi Reynard. Why aren't you still ensconced in Paris, quaffing bon mots and swigging spirit of staircase? Oh, hang on, I've just heard about the lure of BART's cleaner vinyl seats.

    November 18, 2011

  • “I be having to put Bilby on music. He just don't be knowing. Its okay tho. He's still cool.”


    November 18, 2011

  • I be don't liking tweets much. But some-some dem entertaining, mon.

    November 18, 2011

  • “"pulling a Bilby" refers to ignorant acts such as forgetting where your car is”


    November 18, 2011

  • We'd all enjoy another of your apt clerihews. Perhaps this list could provide a modicum of inspiration.

    November 22, 2011

  • Same context: rôle, contretemps, vasectomy.

    December 30, 2011

  • the dreaded easter bilby

    March 31, 2013

  • Bilby gets a royal visit.

    April 20, 2014

  • Sunday haiku:

    aargh oh no the shame

    that inbred little fuckhead

    threw me out of the pram

    April 20, 2014

  •                      Bilby?
    A Hobbit, I thought, or maybe a hat,
    Bilby symbolized something like that.
    Conceive my surprise!
    He opts for the guise
    Of a big-eared marsupial rat.

    April 21, 2014

  • I wonder who will adopt this word.

    January 8, 2015

  • *waits*

    January 8, 2015

  • I'll note that wombat has already been adopted.

    January 12, 2015

  • Is daylight savings time April 5, 2015 for you?

    March 8, 2015

  • Despite the dogpiling, no-one has adopted me :-...

    April 27, 2016

  • We'd need Christies auction house to handle the huge sum of money involved in the adoption price.

    April 28, 2016

  • 13k lookups

    April 24, 2017

  • Most of those were probably me.

    April 24, 2017

  • I got adopted!

    April 14, 2018

  • Who is the Royal Secret Society of Bilbies and what are you going to do with me?

    April 14, 2018

  • I hear there's a secret button pressing ceremony involving a food pellet.

    April 15, 2018

  • *presses button*

    April 15, 2018

  • A fez wearing person in a tiny little car shows up and drops off a food pellet.

    April 16, 2018

  • *licks paw whilst eyeing food pellet from the other side of the room*

    April 16, 2018


    April 16, 2018

  • *presses button*

    April 16, 2018

  • Ooh! A delicious food pellet!

    What a great party.

    April 16, 2018

  • I happen to have here a bucket of pellet hooch I made a while back.


    April 16, 2018

  • Please do not kick or pound me if your pellets don't fall immediately. And don't press my buttons over and over. Be patient and you will receive your due reward.

    April 16, 2018

  • *presses button politely*

    April 17, 2018

  • Dunno, pressing vendingmachine buttons is pretty much a national sport.

    April 17, 2018

  • Among the list of Random Adoptions on Wordnik:

    bilby was adopted by Royal Secret Society of Bilbies

    July 7, 2018

  • See aherte.

    February 21, 2020

  • I have just been adopted. Not sure what this means. Ice cream for dessert? No more workhouse gruel for me!

    July 19, 2021

  • Sticks and stones, bilby. Roasted with caramel, huh? What... no sea salt?

    November 25, 2023

  • Sounds like you're already a bit salty, vendypants!

    November 26, 2023

  • Welcome Back!

    November 26, 2023

  • *bows gracefully, or at least I think so*

    November 27, 2023