bob·​tail ˈbäb-ˌtāl How to pronounce bobtail (audio)
: a bobbed tail
: a horse, dog, or cat with a bobbed or very short tail
especially : old english sheepdog
: something curtailed
bobtail adjective
or bobtailed

Examples of bobtail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like many of its relatives, the bobtail squid makes deft use of its light-emitting photophores to hunt, communicate with its peers, and hide from predators lurking below. Discover Magazine, 29 June 2010 Pulau Mabul, Malaysia Diving enthusiasts flock to Pulau Mabul, off the southeastern coast of Malaysia, where the marine life is on par with the Galápagos — native sea moths, bobtail squids, and the elusive paintpot cuttlefish are just a few of the inhabitants. Anne Olivia Bauso, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023 Others, like one energetic Japanese bobtail, were more of a handful, biting at the toys used by the judge to get their attention and attempting to scale the scratching posts on either side of the judge's table. Grant Lancaster, Arkansas Online, 20 Feb. 2023 At nightfall, the Hawaiian bobtail squid digs itself out of the sand and rises into the ocean water like a spaceship taking off. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 9 Apr. 2013 The Hawaiian bobtail squid creates its own light, using special organs filled with glowing bacteria. Discover Magazine, 27 Apr. 2011 The 2-year-old bobtail cat belonged to Sexton's son, Kamryn Potter. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 18 Aug. 2022 Most of his tail was amputated, leaving a very cute little stubby bobtail on his behind. Kaitlyn Keegan, Hartford Courant, 8 July 2022 That afternoon, members of the convoy drove their bobtail trucks through Black Lives Matter Plaza. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bobtail.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


bob entry 4

First Known Use

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of bobtail was in 1667

Dictionary Entries Near bobtail

Cite this Entry

“Bobtail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


bob·​tail -ˌtāl How to pronounce bobtail (audio)
: a short or bobbed tail
: a horse, dog, or cat with a short or bobbed tail
bobtail adjective
or bobtailed

More from Merriam-Webster on bobtail

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