fox·​tail ˈfäks-ˌtāl How to pronounce foxtail (audio)
: the tail of a fox
: something resembling the tail of a fox
: any of several grasses (especially genera Alopecurus, Hordeum, and Setaria) with spikes resembling brushes

called also foxtail grass

Examples of foxtail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the process, bits of the original bacterium’s genome occasionally cling to the plasmid like foxtails on a dog’s coat and find themselves in the new host. Joann C Gutin, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 But there are a handful of bolt guns and semi-autos ideal for hunting foxtails and grays. Brodie Swisher, Outdoor Life, 7 Sep. 2022 Kaley Cuoco's Dogs King King is Cuoco's Chihuahua who underwent an operation in July 2023 to have pieces of a foxtail plant removed from inside her body. Liza Esquibias, Peoplemag, 23 July 2023 According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), foxtail grass awns can be found throughout North America, particularly from May to December. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 21 July 2023 Shoes were fuzzy with foxtails for heels and delicate leather straps, balancing hard and soft with ease, or took the form of otherwise simple wellies or furry chukkas in yellows and tans. Kevin Leblanc, ELLE, 21 Feb. 2023 The exact location of the couple’s grave is available on Find a Grave, but prickly foxtails and weeds wielding burrs covered Jesse and Jo Ann’s gravestone. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2023 Bags were also replete with foxtails, and slung across the body or under the shoulder. Kevin Leblanc, ELLE, 21 Feb. 2023 Not only do the birch, aspen, and willow trees turn a range of yellow and orange hues, but the leaves of the tall fireweeds, foxtail grasses, and highbush cranberries change as well to create a kaleidoscope along the Dempster Highway and in Tombstone Territorial Park. Caleigh Alleyne, Condé Nast Traveler, 18 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foxtail.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of foxtail was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near foxtail

Cite this Entry

“Foxtail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


fox·​tail -ˌtāl How to pronounce foxtail (audio)
: the tail of a fox
: any of several grasses with spikes that resemble brushes

More from Merriam-Webster on foxtail

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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