Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several stocky burrowing Australian marsupials of the family Vombatidae, somewhat resembling a small bear and feeding mainly on grass, leaves, and roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several herbivorous, burrowing marsupials, of the family Vombatidae, mainly found in southern and eastern Australia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of three species of Australian burrowing marsupials of the genus Phascolomys, especially the common species (Phascolomys ursinus). They are nocturnal in their habits, and feed mostly on roots.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An Australian marsupial mammal of the genus Phascolomys, as P. wombat or P. ursinus. See cut under Phascolomys.

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

  • n. burrowing herbivorous Australian marsupials about the size of a badger

Etymologies

Dharuk wambad.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dharug wambad, wambaj, or wambag. It was originally written whom-batt in English. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Yes, "I was hit by a wombat" is in the passive voice (and properly so according to Pullum, if the wombat is a "newer and less established" element).

    Hunting Down the False Passive

  • But "I was hitting the the wombat" is not only active voice, but an image of strength and muscularity.

    Hunting Down the False Passive

  • There is also a small, clumsy, inoffensive animal called the wombat, which is never found outside of these Australian regions.

    Harper's Young People, March 2, 1880 An Illustrated Weekly

  • (For the satisfaction of his patients, I may observe, parenthetically, that the skull and the "wombat" -- that last is a creature between a miniature pig and a very small badger -- were not precisely packed up with the sarsaparilla!)

    The Caxtons — Volume 18

  • MM: A wombat is an Australian marsupial that looks like a kind of rabbit, only slightly angrier and bigger.

    Mike Ragogna: Jill Scott's Video Exclusive, Plus Chatting With The Wombats and The Postelles, and More

  • Anst, here we have a wonderful beastie called a wombat which eats , roots and leaves… applies to male human species as well

    Cape Fear: Cycling Fashion's Reign of Terror Continues

  • Actually, pretty much every possible title gets better if you stick the word wombat in it.

    Archive 2007-09-01

  • After I came up with a fairly standard "Agent Ketchup," and saw someone else using it not long after, I realized how foxy I was, then how much a wombat is my spirit animal.

    What's In a Name?

  • The Londo we see is a horrible person, who knowingly does horrible things for reasons which are, OK, vaguely honorable** but still not a sufficient excuse, and his exploitation by the Shadows can only be explained by his having the political instincts of a stunned wombat, which is plainly not the case.

    Archive 2005-11-01

  • The wombat is a round-shouldered hulk of dark fur like a young bear but more mopey that hesitates and then quietly reverses direction when encountered at night on a path.

    The Song of The Dodo

Comments

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

  • Wow. It sounds like my dog is actually a wombat. :) Well... they are both damn cute little furry critters with a demonstrated penchant for carrots and an ability to solve problems, anyhow.

    July 14, 2009

  • Wombats sleep on their backs, with their little legs sticking straight up in the air.
    Wombats are clever enough to use a stick as a lever to move a boulder that stands between them and a garden patch.
    Wombats will destroy everything you own if you don't give them a carrot when they want a carrot.
    Wombats like having their heads scratched.
    Wombats are hardcore: if a dog gets into their burrow they will let it crawl onto their back and then they will crush it against the roof.

    Facts gleaned from "How to Scratch a Wombat" by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley.

    July 14, 2009

  • Truly. I must get my hands on those O'Brian books, chained_bear.

    February 5, 2008

  • That passage is simply wombastic.

    February 5, 2008

  • "'Now sir,' cried the Captain, striding into the great cabin, a tall, imposing figure. 'Now sir,'—addressing the wombat, one of the numerous body of marsupials brought into the ship by her surgeon...—'give it up directly, d'ye hear me, there?'

    "The wombat stared him straight in the eye, drew a length of gold lace from its mouth, and then deliberately sucked it in again.

    "'Pass the word for Dr Maturin,' said the Captain, looking angrily at the wombat: and a moment later, 'Come now, Stephen, this is coming it pretty high: your brute is eating my hat.'

    "'So he is, too,' said Dr Maturin. 'But do not be so perturbed, Jack: it will do him no harm, at all. His digestive processes—'

    "At this point the wombat dropped the hat, shuffled rapidly across the deck and swarmed up into Dr Maturin's arms, peering at close range into his face with a look of deep affection."
    --Patrick O'Brian, Fortune of War, pp. 8-9

    February 5, 2008

  • Ooh, I just learned that this is an acronym as well, meaning:

    Waste of money, brains and time.

    And let's not forget its adjectival forms phascolomian and wombastic

    October 16, 2007

  • According to the OED:
    Any of the burrowing marsupials of the genus Phascolomys, native to South Australia and Tasmania, characterized by a thick heavy body, short legs, and a general resemblance to a small bear.

    According to me:
    A damn cute little furry critter.

    February 7, 2007