or rat·tail


Origin of rat-tail

First recorded in 1695–1705
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rat-tail

Historical Examples of rat-tail

British Dictionary definitions for rat-tail


  1. another name for grenadier (def. 2)
    1. a horse's tail that has no hairs
    2. a horse having such a tail
  2. a style of spoon in which the line of the handle is prolonged in a tapering moulding along the back of the bowl
  3. a kind of woodworking or metalworking file
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 rat-tail

also rat's-tail, used since 16c. of conditions or devices he;d to resemble a rat's long, hairless tail in some sense, including "lank lock of hair" (1810); "end of a rope" (1867); from rat (n.) + tail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper