horse·​tail | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌtāl How to pronounce horsetail (audio) \

Definition of horsetail

: any of a genus (Equisetum of the order Equisetales) of lower tracheophytes comprising perennial, spore-producing plants that spread by creeping rhizomes and have leaves reduced to nodal sheaths on the hollow jointed ribbed shoots

Illustration of horsetail

Illustration of horsetail

horsetail: 1 vegetative plant, 2 fertile plant

Examples of horsetail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mounds of horsetail plants for regulating the influence of moon forces on the vineyard’s water? Chris Macias,, "Biodynamic wines have gone mainstream. Here’s what you should know," 17 Dec. 2020 That ginseng improves energy, say, or that ginger alleviates nausea, or that horsetail, which contains silica, might help hair to grow? Amanda Fortini, New York Times, "Revisiting an Ancient Theory of Herbalism," 12 Nov. 2020 Now is when equisetum (horsetail) pops up in gardens. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Gardening season has arrived in Alaska. Do these chores now.," 14 May 2020 Contribute the centerpiece to a first apartment with a Hästens bed, which is handmade in Sweden with natural materials such as horsetail hair, wool, cotton and flax. Alycia Cohen, WSJ, "With Graduations Canceled, Thoughtful Gifts Go a Longer Way," 14 May 2020 But the Gilboa roots belong to more primitive trees that may be related to ferns and horsetails. Colin Barras, Science | AAAS, "Scientists have discovered the world’s oldest forest—and its radical impact on life," 19 Dec. 2019 The only downside was that my property has a great deal of equisetum (horsetail), which enjoyed spreading its roots into the spaces left by the wavy layer in the middle. oregonlive, "Ask an expert: Check out the many gardening uses for corrugated cardboard," 5 Jan. 2020 Her team zeroed in on the nutritional content of low-growing, spore-bearing horsetails, or Equisetum, which were widespread during the Jurassic period and still grow today. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Sauropods grew big by munching ‘superfoods’ with sturdy beaks," 17 Oct. 2019 The researchers were astounded to find that horsetails released more energy than any other plant group, including 16 modern grasses. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, "Sauropods grew big by munching ‘superfoods’ with sturdy beaks," 17 Oct. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of horsetail was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Horsetail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for horsetail


horse·​tail | \ ˈhȯrs-ˌtāl How to pronounce horsetail (audio) \

Kids Definition of horsetail

: a plant that produces spores and has small leaves resembling scales

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