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

  • verb idiomatic to feign death; to remain quiet and still to escape attention or remain undetected; to lay low.
  • verb idiomatic to feign sleep, illness, etc.
  • verb idiomatic, dated to dissemble or to feign ignorance; to disguise or conceal something in order to deceive.

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

  • verb to pretend to be dead


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

English play + possum (from opossum), from the behaviour of the Virginia opossum, feigning death when threatened. First documented 1822.


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  • Opossums actually aren't "playing", they pass out from sheer terror.

    May 7, 2008