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[swol-oh-teyld] /ˈswɒl oʊˌteɪld/
having a deeply forked tail like that of a swallow, as various birds.
having an end or part suggesting a swallow's tail.
(of a flag) having a triangular indentation in the fly so as to create two tails.
Origin of swallow-tailed
First recorded in 1690-1700 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for swallow-tailed
Historical Examples
  • I should have liked the chance of catching a swallow-tailed butterfly for my collection.'

  • An armorial lance flag, pointed or swallow-tailed at the fly.

  • The Pennon is a small, narrow flag, forked or swallow-tailed at its extremity.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme
  • The beaver hat and swallow-tailed coat were kept in the lead.

    Negro Tales Joseph Seamon Cotter
  • The commodore's broad pendant is a very similar flag, but it tapers slightly, and is swallow-tailed.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme
  • The Commodore's broad pendant is a swallow-tailed blue flag, with one white star in the centre.

    The Flags of the World

    F. Edward Hulme
  • The smallest details were visible—the turrets, the terraces, the windows, and even the swallow-tailed vanes.

  • A long flag, pointed or swallow-tailed at the fly, and displayed from a transverse bar attached to a staff.

  • The antics of the swallow-tailed Kite during the mating season are particularly interesting.

  • Mr. Courthope does not condescend to italicize his pun; but a swallow-tailed and adder-tongued pun like this must be paused upon.

    Love's Meinie John Ruskin
British Dictionary definitions for swallow-tailed


(of a bird) having a deeply forked tail
having a part resembling a swallow's tail
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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