follow Dictionary.com

What's the "een" in Halloween?

rat-tail

[rat-teyl] /ˈrætˌteɪl/
noun
1.
grenadier (def 4).
Also, rattail.
Origin
1695-1705
1695-1705
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for rattail

rat-tail

noun
1.
another name for grenadier (sense 2)
2.
  1. a horse's tail that has no hairs
  2. a horse having such a tail
3.
a style of spoon in which the line of the handle is prolonged in a tapering moulding along the back of the bowl
4.
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for rattail

rat-tail

n.

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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for rattail

grenadier

any of about 300 species of abundant deep-sea fishes of the family Macrouridae found along the ocean bottom in warm and temperate regions. The typical grenadier is a large-headed fish with a tapered body ending in a long, ratlike tail bordered above and below by the anal and second dorsal fins. The eyes are large, and the mouth is on the underside of the head. The often extended snout presumably aids in rooting about the bottom for food. Some species have light organs, and some can produce sounds by means of paired muscles attached to the swim bladder. The fish is usually about 30 to 60 cm (1 to 2 feet) long.

Learn more about grenadier with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for rat-tail

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for rattail

7
8
Scrabble Words With Friends