- Also called scouring rush. any nonflowering plant of the genus Equisetum, having hollow, jointed stems.
- a horse's tail formerly used as a Turkish military standard or as an ensign of a pasha, the number of tails increasing with the rank.
Origin of horsetail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for horsetail
“But in the time of Downton they would have definitely slept on a horsetail mattress,” he said.Savoir Beds’ Royal State Bed: Just Perfect, If You Have $175,000
June 27, 2013
It is named for the abundance of Horsetail (Equisitum) found there.California Athabascan Groups
Martin A. Baumhoff
We have examples of the last-named class in the ferns, lycopods and horsetail plants.The Story of the Cotton Plant
He was only human, and you must forgive him if he told of his adventure with the horsetail thieves.
Mike's Head is probably a popular name for the rush of the Equisetum species, known as "horsetail."Early Western Travels 1748-1846, Volume XXX
I have reason to believe that these two horsetail thieves are taking shelter with some charcoal burners over near the river.
- any tracheophyte plant of the genus Equisetum, having jointed stems with whorls of small dark toothlike leaves and producing spores within conelike structures at the tips of the stems: phylum Sphenophyta
- a stylized horse's tail formerly used as the emblem of a pasha, the number of tails increasing with rank
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
Word Origin and History for horsetail
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A member of a genus, Equisetum, of seedless vascular plants having a jointed hollow stem and narrow, sometimes much reduced leaves. Plants extremely similar to modern horsetails are known from fossils 300 million years old. The horsetails are the last surviving members of the phylum Sphenophyta, which dominated the forests of the Devonian and Carboniferous periods.
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