horse·​tail ˈhȯrs-ˌtāl How to pronounce horsetail (audio)
: 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
  • 1 vegetative plant
  • 2 fertile plant

Examples of horsetail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Studies of ginkgoes, horsetails, and other common Mesozoic plants indicate that the ancient vegetation was more calorie-rich than previously supposed, so the abundance of green food likely fueled the reptilian giants’ unprecedented growth. Riley Black, Popular Science, 9 Nov. 2023 Pangea’s flora may not have been to alien to us in some ways, as it was dominated by species such as conifers, ferns and horsetails, Olsen continues. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 20 Sep. 2023 Above grew conifer trees, ferns, ancient herbs and horsetail plants. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 16 Aug. 2023 The powder also includes horsetail (said to promote collagen), nettle (a natural astringent), and calendula (a soothing antibacterial). Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 11 Aug. 2023 Clinical studies have shown that biotin, in conjunction with organic horsetail extract and other B vitamins, can greatly improve the appearance of nails, skin, and hair. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 Nov. 2022 These super aggressive weeds include blackberry, Scotch broom, bindweed (also known as invasive morning glory), horsetail, English ivy, poison oak and old man’s beard (also known as traveler’s joy; an invasive species of clematis). oregonlive, 11 Aug. 2020 Bethenny Frankel Has Spent 'Thousands' on Concealers, and This $10 Drugstore Find Is Her 'Winner' This Australian brand uses peppermint, rosemary, saw palmetto, and horsetail oils for removing buildup, improving elasticity and enhancing growth. Lauren Fischer, Peoplemag, 23 Mar. 2023 Choose something like the Bosley Professional Strength Healthy Hair Vitality Supplements, which are high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 and horsetail and pumpkin seed extract, or Viviscal, which contains a proprietary collagen complex to support healthy hair growth. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, 10 Nov. 2022 See More

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Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near horsetail

Cite this Entry

“Horsetail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


horse·​tail ˈhȯr-ˌstāl How to pronounce horsetail (audio)
: any of a genus of primitive plants that reproduce by spores instead of by flowers and seeds and have hollow stems and very small leaves resembling scales

called also equisetum, scouring rush

More from Merriam-Webster on horsetail

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