any tall, reedlike marsh plant of the genus Typha, especially T. latifolia, having long, sword-shaped leaves and dense, cylindrical clusters of minute brown flowers.

Origin of cattail

First recorded in 1425–75, cattail is from the late Middle English word cattestail. See cat, tail1
Also called bulrush, reed mace. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cattail

Historical Examples of cattail

Word Origin and History for cattail

also cat's tail, type of plant, mid-15c., from cat (n.) + tail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper