• synonyms


  1. the tail of a fox.
  2. any of various grasses having soft, brushlike spikes of flowers.
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Origin of foxtail

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at fox, tail1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for foxtail

Historical Examples of foxtail

  • He was not used, he said, "to flatter or to tickle with a foxtail."

    The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume I.(of III) 1555-66

    John Lothrop Motley

  • The larv feed on the roots of grasses, having particular liking for the roots of foxtail, timothy and blue-grass.

  • Asher was chewing the tender joint of a spear of foxtail grass, and Champers had lighted a heavy cigar.

    Winning the Wilderness

    Margaret Hill McCarter

  • The "Foxtail" milkwort, whose name I don't accept, C. 1006, is intermediate between this and the next species.

  • Those who travel and camp among the highest mountains of California are often indebted to foxtail pine for their fuel.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

British Dictionary definitions for foxtail


  1. any grass of the genus Alopecurus, esp A. pratensis, of Europe, Asia, and South America, having soft cylindrical spikes of flowers: cultivated as a pasture grass
  2. any of various similar and related grasses, esp any of the genus Setaria
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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