bob·​tail | \ ˈbäb-ˌtāl How to pronounce bobtail (audio) \

Definition of bobtail

1a : a bobbed tail
b : a horse, dog, or cat with a bobbed or very short tail especially : old english sheepdog
2 : something curtailed

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Other Words from bobtail

bobtail or bobtailed \ ˈbäb-​ˌtāld How to pronounce bobtail (audio) \ adjective

Examples of bobtail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hawaiian bobtail squid light up via bioluminescent bacteria living in one of their organs; the light camouflages them against moonlight on the surface and eliminates their shadow, obscuring them from predators. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "How bioluminescence works in nature," 2 May 2019 Every evening, nocturnal Hawaiian bobtail squids (Euprymna scolopes) emerge from their burrows in shallow waters of the Pacific to hunt for shrimp. Quanta Magazine, "New Squid Genome Shines Light on Symbiotic Evolution," 19 Feb. 2019 Hawaiian bobtail squid sleep under the sand all day, coming out to forage at night. National Geographic, "Living Fireworks, These Animals Produce Light Shows with Their Bodies," 30 June 2018 Studies of the squid's giant axon helped spawn modern neuroscience decades ago, and the light organ of the bobtail squid (Euprymna scolopes) powered a revolution in the study of symbiotic host-microbe interactions. Danna Staaf, Science | AAAS, "How to put an octopus to sleep—and make cephalopod research more humane," 4 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bobtail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bobtail

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bobtail

bob entry 4

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Time Traveler for bobtail

Time Traveler

The first known use of bobtail was in 1667

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Statistics for bobtail

Cite this Entry

“Bobtail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for bobtail


bob·​tail | \ ˈbäb-ˌtāl How to pronounce bobtail (audio) \

Kids Definition of bobtail

1 : a short tail : a tail cut short
2 : an animal (as a dog) with a short tail

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