[ wag-teyl ]

  1. any of numerous small, chiefly Old World birds of the family Motacillidae, having a slender body with a long, narrow tail that is habitually wagged up and down.

  2. any of several similar birds, as the water thrushes of the genus Seiurus.

Origin of wagtail

First recorded in 1500–10; wag + tail1

Words Nearby wagtail

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How to use wagtail in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for wagtail


/ (ˈwæɡˌteɪl) /

  1. any of various passerine songbirds of the genera Motacilla and Dendronanthus, of Eurasia and Africa, having a very long tail that wags when the bird walks: family Motacillidae

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