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[pig-teyl] /ˈpɪgˌteɪl/
a braid of hair hanging down the back of the head.
tobacco in a thin, twisted roll.
  1. a short, flexible wire used in connecting a stationary terminal with a terminal having a limited range of motion.
  2. a short wire connected to an electric device, as a lead or ground.
Origin of pigtail
1680-90; pig1 + tail1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pigtail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have half a mind to go after him and tweak his pigtail soundly.

    A Chinese Command Harry Collingwood
  • The carpentry instructor; A taint of Hinduism; he retains his pigtail.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • Grabbing pigtail Anne by the arm, he propelled her across the deck and into the dismal front room of the shantyboat.

    The Mississippi Saucer Frank Belknap Long
  • "You can be right smart when you've got nothing else on your mind, pigtail," he said.

    The Mississippi Saucer Frank Belknap Long
  • What most attracted his attention, however, was the Chinese minister's pigtail.

  • There was that little matter of the pigtail the other morning!

    Tom and Some Other Girls Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • Then he noticed that Charlie had no pigtail, and immediately shouted jeering remarks at him.

  • His pigtail was thicker than his father's and black right up to the top.

    New Treasure Seekers E. (Edith) Nesbit
  • I suppose they'd have strung me up if I had, and here I just pepper any pigtail I like.

    Captain Jinks, Hero Ernest Crosby
British Dictionary definitions for pigtail


a bunch of hair or one of two bunches on either side of the face, worn loose or plaited
a twisted roll of tobacco
Derived Forms
pigtailed, adjective
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 pigtail

1680s, "tobacco in a twisted roll," from pig (n.) + tail (n.). So called from resemblance. Meaning "braid of hair" is from 1753, when it was a fashion among soldiers and sailors. Applied variously to other objects or parts thought to resemble this in appearance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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