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 In another statement, Wilton Manors Police Chief Gary Blocker reiterated the city’s commitment to treating the cuddly cottontails with gentle hands. Antonio Planas, NBC News, 19 July 2023 Thompson attributes the greater rabbit presence to development around Boston that may be reducing the amount of green space available to the cottontails for foraging. Alex Koller,, 15 June 2023 But Lizzy Caplan, who plays Alex in the series version on Paramount+, says her character’s actions are far worse than cooking cottontails. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 1 May 2023 The same study found that marsh and cottontail rabbits and foxes had disappeared from the area. Kyle Melnick, Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2023 Recently, Estrella has spotted opossums, coyotes, cottontail rabbits, deer and, of course, many birds. Dakota Kim, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2023 The American robin is among a handful of wildlife species, including the house sparrow, gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit and coyote, able to thrive in a variety of habitats. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 27 Apr. 2023 From the archeology museum, visitors can stroll the Chihuahuan Desert Garden & Nature Trails, where desert cottontails play hide-and-seek among the cholla cactuses and creosote bush. Andrea Sachs,, 13 Apr. 2023 With burlap ears and a bow, and a white faux hydrangea cottontail, the festive wreath combines seasonal materials to make a whimsical bunny. Gabriela Izquierdo, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Mar. 2023 See More

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 21 Sep. 2023.

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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