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[kat-teyl] /ˈkætˌteɪl/
any tall, reedlike marsh plant of the genus Typha, especially T. latifolia, having long, sword-shaped leaves and dense, cylindrical clusters of minute brown flowers.
Also called bulrush, reed mace.
Origin of cattail
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English cattestail. See cat, tail1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for cattail
  • cattail rootstocks are much more valuable as food for wildlife than are the seeds.
  • It's a dragonfly swooping down to land on a cattail.
  • With enough root disturbance, discing can set back cattail regrowth.
  • Many species use the bulrush and cattail habitat that lines the lake's small bays.
British Dictionary definitions for cattail


noun (Canadian)
another word for bulrush
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
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Word Origin and History for cattail

also cat's tail, type of plant, mid-15c., from cat (n.) + tail (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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