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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from bobtail

bobtail or bobtailed \ ˈbäb-​ˌtāld How to pronounce bobtailed (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.

See More

First Known Use of bobtail

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for bobtail

bob entry 4

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bobtail

Statistics for bobtail

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bobtail

The first known use of bobtail was in 1667

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bobtail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bobtail Encyclopedia article about bobtail

Comments on bobtail

What made you want to look up bobtail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!