See more synonyms for wattle on Thesaurus.com
  1. Often wattles. a number of rods or stakes interwoven with twigs or tree branches for making fences, walls, etc.
  2. wattles, a number of poles laid on a roof to hold thatch.
  3. (in Australia) any of various acacias whose shoots and branches were used by the early colonists for wattles, now valued especially for their bark, which is used in tanning.
  4. a fleshy lobe or appendage hanging down from the throat or chin of certain birds, as the domestic chicken or turkey.
verb (used with object), wat·tled, wat·tling.
  1. to bind, wall, fence, etc., with wattle or wattles.
  2. to roof or frame with or as if with wattles.
  3. to form into a basketwork; interweave; interlace.
  4. to make or construct by interweaving twigs or branches: to wattle a fence.
  1. built or roofed with wattle or wattles.

Origin of wattle

before 900; (noun) Middle English wattel, Old English watul covering, akin to wætla bandage; (v.) Middle English wattelen, derivative of the noun
Related formsun·wat·tled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for wattle

wall, roof, fence, gill

Examples from the Web for wattle

Historical Examples of wattle

  • It is built of oak framework, filled in with “wattle and daub.”

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • As for "wattle and daub" I could wish that it had never been invented.

  • The wattle hanging from the neck is of a light orange at the tip.

    The Western World

    W.H.G. Kingston

  • The walls of the dormitory were constructed in what is well known as "wattle and daub."

  • For leave to sit by their wattle they demanded contributions of fuel.

    War and Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

British Dictionary definitions for wattle


  1. a frame of rods or stakes interwoven with twigs, branches, etc, esp when used to make fences
  2. the material used in such a construction
  3. a loose fold of skin, often brightly coloured, hanging from the neck or throat of certain birds, lizards, etc
  4. any of various chiefly Australian acacia trees having spikes of small brightly coloured flowers and flexible branches, which were used by early settlers for making fencesSee also golden wattle
  5. a southern African caesalpinaceous tree, Peltophorum africanum, with yellow flowers
verb (tr)
  1. to construct from wattle
  2. to bind or frame with wattle
  3. to weave or twist (branches, twigs, etc) into a frame
  1. made of, formed by, or covered with wattle
Derived Formswattled, adjective

Word Origin for wattle

Old English watol; related to wethel wrap, Old High German wadal, German Wedel


  1. Midland English dialect of poor quality
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 wattle

"fleshy appendage below the neck of certain birds," 1510s (extended jocularly to human beings, 1560s), of uncertain origin and of doubtful relationship to wattle (n.1).


"stakes interlaced with twigs and forming the framework of the wall of a building," Old English watol "hurdle," in plural "twigs, thatching, tiles," related to weðel "bandage," of unknown origin. Surviving in wattle-and-daub "building material for huts, etc." (1808).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper