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wagtail

[wag-teyl] /ˈwægˌteɪl/
noun
1.
any of numerous small, chiefly Old World birds of the family Motacillidae, having a slender body with a long, narrow tail that is habitually wagged up and down.
2.
any of several similar birds, as the water thrushes of the genus Seiurus.
Origin of wagtail
1500-1510
First recorded in 1500-10; wag + tail1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wagtail
Historical Examples
  • wagtail took a piece of the biscuit and put it into his mouth.

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • And I,” cried wagtail, “can tie a bandage, although I am not a surgeon.

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • wagtail, who was not much of a shot, sat on deck and passed the weapons up and down.

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • I went down into the cabin and sat down to breakfast with Gelid and wagtail.

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • “I am drunk,” roared wagtail, who with might and main was rolling about his little bed.

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • wagtail,” he exclaimed, “the cabin is full of water––we are sinking!

    Hair Breadth Escapes T. S. Arthur
  • All at once he turned round to Claude with the agile quickness of a wagtail.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • Soon he was at the paper store, where he bought what Mrs. wagtail wanted.

  • The wagtail most likely to be seen is the grey wagtail (Motacilla melanope).

  • These display the elegant form of the wagtail and the sober colouring of the lark.

British Dictionary definitions for wagtail

wagtail

/ˈwæɡˌteɪl/
noun
1.
any of various passerine songbirds of the genera Motacilla and Dendronanthus, of Eurasia and Africa, having a very long tail that wags when the bird walks: family Motacillidae
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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11
13
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