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

  • noun 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 The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A marsupial mammal of Australia, Phascolarctos cinercus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Probably from misreading of earlier coola, koolah, from Dharuk gula, gulawany.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dharug gula or gulawany.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word koala.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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

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

    April 20, 2008

  • C'mon WeirdNet, tail or no tail?

    September 19, 2008

  • churlish, ewok-ish eucalyptus junkie.

    June 27, 2009