cot·​ton·​tail | \ ˈkä-tᵊn-ˌtāl How to pronounce cottontail (audio) \

Definition of cottontail

: any of several rather small North American rabbits (genus Sylvilagus) sandy to grayish brown in color with a white-tufted underside of the tail

Examples of cottontail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The species, too, include the abundant (gray squirrel and cottontail rabbit) to the seldom seen (fisher and gray fox). Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Snapshot Wisconsin trail cam project poised to go statewide," 6 July 2018 For wildlife sightings just outside the museum, look out for grey foxes, desert cottontails, and relict leopard frogs. Kim Windyka, Daily Intelligencer, "The 9 Best Offbeat Museums to Visit in Las Vegas," 16 June 2018 Our chemical-free pest control includes everything from a nearby doghouse to aluminum pie-tins tied to stakes to rattle in the wind as a means to frighten away cottontail offenders. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Carrots are a colorful ingredient addition for any season," 30 Mar. 2018 Shoes with rubber soles may seem unsavory, but preliminary results show that urban coyotes gulp them down, along with western cottontail rabbits, birds, avocados, oranges, peaches, candy wrappers, fast-food cartons and an occasional cat. Louis Sahagun,, "How do coyotes thrive in urban Southern California? The answer is not for the weak-stomached," 23 Mar. 2018 Bobwhite quail, cottontail rabbits and other small animals find their winter homes in brush piles and thick patches. Evan Macdonald,, "No one harmed in Christmas house fire in Broadview Heights," 25 Dec. 2017 Meanwhile in Connecticut and surrounding states, the New England cottontail or woodland rabbit, Sylvilagus transitionalis, is under great pressure from factors including habitat loss and fragmentation. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "Can Rabbits Escape Roadkill?," 6 Oct. 2017 In South America, myxoma’s birthplace, the virus causes an innocuous disease in the local cottontails. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Next Chapter in a Viral Arms Race," 14 Aug. 2017 A cottontail rabbit with extensive injuries was taken to a shelter. Washington Post, "Alexandria and Arlington Animal Watch," 11 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cottontail.' 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 cottontail

1835, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for cottontail

The first known use of cottontail was in 1835

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English Language Learners Definition of cottontail

: a small rabbit with a white tail


cot·​ton·​tail | \ ˈkä-tᵊn-ˌtāl How to pronounce cottontail (audio) \

Kids Definition of cottontail

: a small rabbit with a white tail

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More from Merriam-Webster on cottontail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cottontail

Spanish Central: Translation of cottontail

Nglish: Translation of cottontail for Spanish Speakers

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