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[pig-teyl] /ˈpɪgˌteɪl/
a braid of hair hanging down the back of the head.
tobacco in a thin, twisted roll.
  1. a short, flexible wire used in connecting a stationary terminal with a terminal having a limited range of motion.
  2. a short wire connected to an electric device, as a lead or ground.
Origin of pigtail
First recorded in 1680-90; pig1 + tail1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pigtail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She put the end of a pigtail in her mouth and sat down on the chair opposite.

    Dream Town Henry Slesar
  • And, now, if you will give me that pigtail, I will try to sew it to this skull-cap.

  • After a time the woman produced Charlie's pigtail, and handed it to the man to look at.

  • Patch: Was n't it Noah, Captain; as got his pigtail cut by some designin' woman?

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • With the pigtail coiled inside of the lost shoe, Mell ran on.

    Nine Little Goslings

    Susan Coolidge
  • The carpentry instructor; A taint of Hinduism; he retains his pigtail.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • He was dressed in powder and a pigtail, quite in the old fashion.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • I have half a mind to go after him and tweak his pigtail soundly.

    A Chinese Command Harry Collingwood
  • "You can be right smart when you've got nothing else on your mind, pigtail," he said.

    The Mississippi Saucer Frank Belknap Long
British Dictionary definitions for pigtail


a bunch of hair or one of two bunches on either side of the face, worn loose or plaited
a twisted roll of tobacco
Derived Forms
pigtailed, adjective
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 pigtail

1680s, "tobacco in a twisted roll," from pig (n.) + tail (n.). So called from resemblance. Meaning "braid of hair" is from 1753, when it was a fashion among soldiers and sailors. Applied variously to other objects or parts thought to resemble this in appearance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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