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black swallowtail

noun
1.
See under swallowtail (def 2).

swallowtail

[swol-oh-teyl] /ˈswɒl oʊˌteɪl/
noun
1.
the tail of a swallow or a deeply forked tail like that of a swallow.
2.
any of several butterflies of the genus Papilio, characterized by elongated hind wings that resemble the tail of a swallow, as P. polyxenes (black swallowtail)
3.
Origin of swallowtail
1535-1545
First recorded in 1535-45; swallow2 + tail1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for black swallowtail
Historical Examples
  • While the black swallowtail is not so large as some other members of the group, it is probably the best known to most people.

    Butterflies Worth Knowing Clarence M. Weed
  • The eggs of the black swallowtail are laid one in a place upon the leaves of the food plant.

    Butterflies Worth Knowing Clarence M. Weed
  • The larvae of the black swallowtail have certain characteristics in which they differ from many other caterpillars.

    Butterflies Worth Knowing Clarence M. Weed
British Dictionary definitions for black swallowtail

swallowtail

/ˈswɒləʊˌteɪl/
noun
1.
any of various butterflies of the genus Papilio and related genera, esp P. machaon of Europe, having a tail-like extension of each hind wing: family Papilionidae
2.
the forked tail of a swallow or similar bird
3.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for black swallowtail

swallowtail

1540s, of a type of arrowhead, from swallow (n.) + tail (n.). Of a type of butterfly, by 1776; of a type of coat, 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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