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[wot-l] /ˈwɒt l/
Often, wattles. a number of rods or stakes interwoven with twigs or tree branches for making fences, walls, etc.
wattles, a number of poles laid on a roof to hold thatch.
(in Australia) any of various acacias whose shoots and branches were used by the early colonists for wattles, now valued especially for their bark, which is used in tanning.
a fleshy lobe or appendage hanging down from the throat or chin of certain birds, as the domestic chicken or turkey.
verb (used with object), wattled, wattling.
to bind, wall, fence, etc., with wattle or wattles.
to roof or frame with or as if with wattles.
to form into a basketwork; interweave; interlace.
to make or construct by interweaving twigs or branches:
to wattle a fence.
built or roofed with wattle or wattles.
Origin of wattle
before 900; (noun) Middle English wattel, Old English watul covering, akin to wætla bandage; (v.) Middle English wattelen, derivative of the noun
Related forms
unwattled, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for wattle
Historical Examples
  • It is built of oak framework, filled in with “wattle and daub.”

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • As for "wattle and daub" I could wish that it had never been invented.

  • The wattle hanging from the neck is of a light orange at the tip.

    The Western World W.H.G. Kingston
  • The walls of the dormitory were constructed in what is well known as "wattle and daub."

    Prisoners Their Own Warders J. F. A. McNair
  • For leave to sit by their wattle they demanded contributions of fuel.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • A yeather or yadder seems to be a rod to wattle the stakes with.

  • I skulked in the scrub as he came up—just behind a clump of wattle.

    Colonial Born G. Firth Scott
  • Beyond the fires he saw huts of mud and wattle, thatched with brush.

    Beyond the Black River Robert E. Howard
  • As a rule this line is broken by the overgrowth of the wattle at the base of the beak.

    The Making of Species Douglas Dewar
  • Candanga, met me in the path and gave me a welcome to his house of wattle and daub.

    Stanley in Africa James P. Boyd
British Dictionary definitions for wattle


a frame of rods or stakes interwoven with twigs, branches, etc, esp when used to make fences
the material used in such a construction
a loose fold of skin, often brightly coloured, hanging from the neck or throat of certain birds, lizards, etc
any of various chiefly Australian acacia trees having spikes of small brightly coloured flowers and flexible branches, which were used by early settlers for making fences See also golden wattle
a southern African caesalpinaceous tree, Peltophorum africanum, with yellow flowers
verb (transitive)
to construct from wattle
to bind or frame with wattle
to weave or twist (branches, twigs, etc) into a frame
made of, formed by, or covered with wattle
Derived Forms
wattled, adjective
Word Origin
Old English watol; related to wethel wrap, Old High German wadal, German Wedel


(Midland English, dialect) of poor quality
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 wattle

"fleshy appendage below the neck of certain birds," 1510s (extended jocularly to human beings, 1560s), of uncertain origin and of doubtful relationship to wattle (n.1).


"stakes interlaced with twigs and forming the framework of the wall of a building," Old English watol "hurdle," in plural "twigs, thatching, tiles," related to weðel "bandage," of unknown origin. Surviving in wattle-and-daub "building material for huts, etc." (1808).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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