cot·​ton·​tail ˈkä-tᵊn-ˌtāl How to pronounce cottontail (audio)
: 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 Discover fun facts about the eastern cottontail rabbit and make a craft to take home during this 45-minute program at Poplar Grove Shelter. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 25 Apr. 2024 The Appalachian cottontail and swamp rabbit are also seen throughout the state, and the Appalachian cottontail is commonly confused with the eastern cottontails. Marina Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 28 Mar. 2024 Marjorie Perry Nature Preserve is a wildlife preserve in the metropolitan area, with foxes, raccoons, coyotes and cottontail rabbits. Sandra Dallas, The Denver Post, 5 June 2024 A lot of cottontails and gray squirrels had been popping up on trail cameras, along with gray fox, opossum, feral cats, and deer; cougars eat them all. Scott Haugen, Outdoor Life, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for cottontail 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1835, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cottontail was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near cottontail

Cite this Entry

“Cottontail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


cot·​ton·​tail ˈkät-ᵊn-ˌtāl How to pronounce cottontail (audio)
: any of several small brownish gray rabbits with a fluffy tail that is white on the underside

More from Merriam-Webster on cottontail

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