noun, plural pin·tails, (especially collectively) pin·tail.

a long-necked river duck, Anas acuta, of the Old and New Worlds, having long and narrow middle tail feathers.

Origin of pintail

First recorded in 1760–70; pin + tail1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pintail

Historical Examples of pintail

  • This applies chiefly to wigeon, but we have frequently observed the same trait in pintail and occasionally in other species.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • The Pintail flies well and rapidly, the wings making a peculiar and easily recognised swishing sound.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • Among the earliest of the birds to forsake the plains of Hindustan are the grey-lag goose and the pintail duck.

  • By the third week in August good bags of pintail snipe are sometimes obtained in Bengal.

  • The pintail snipe (Gallinago stenura) are invariably the first to appear, but they visit only the eastern parts of Northern India.

British Dictionary definitions for pintail


noun plural -tails or -tail

a greyish-brown duck, Anas acuta, with slender pointed wings and a pointed tail
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 pintail

type of duck, 1767, from pin (n.1) + tail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper