pig·​tail ˈpig-ˌtāl How to pronounce pigtail (audio)
plural pigtails
: tobacco in small twisted strands or rolls
: a lock of hair that has been gathered and banded or braided together at the back or side of the head
The hostess wore a peasant blouse and skirt and had her hair done up in a single thick pigtailJohn Updike
often used in the plural for a hairstyle in which two such locks or braids of hair are worn on either side of the head
a little girl in pigtails… there's another hairstyle you should definitely try this year: Pigtails … I mean twin high ponytails that sprout from the top or sides of your head and kind of look like animal ears …Erica Smith

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The grayscale photo showcases the cast posing together in what appears to be an apartment set, with Streep closest to the camera in a set of undone pigtail braids. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 18 Jan. 2023 Her Alaïa prom dress in the viral Wednesday dance scene is probably the most memorable, but Wednesday’s school uniform and pigtail braids are kind of a vibe, too. Hannah Oh, Seventeen, 19 Dec. 2022 Wednesday's style has stayed remarkably consistent from the original TV show: Two pigtail braids, a high-necked collar, and a surly vibe. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 10 Dec. 2022 The Addams Family, the enduring pop culture clan of macabre mischief makers, has returned yet again to the screen, this time in Netflix's high school drama focused on daughter Wednesday, the princess of scathing stares and perfect pigtail braids. . Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2022 Bella Hadid has been living the pigtail life lately. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 2 Nov. 2022 With that, Scott would add in a ruffled shirt or put Barrymore’s hair in a pigtail and bows. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 19 Oct. 2022 Watts is reluctant to divulge her thoughts on the show's (multiple) loose ends (Who's pigtail girl? Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 17 Oct. 2022 Then there was Dove Cameron, who topped off her goth fashion look with inky pigtail plaits, razor-sharp flicks of white eyeliner, and glossy black talons embellished with roses. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pigtail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pigtail was in 1681

Dictionary Entries Near pigtail

Cite this Entry

“Pigtail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pigtail. Accessed 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


pig·​tail -ˌtāl How to pronounce pigtail (audio)
: a tight braid of hair

More from Merriam-Webster on pigtail

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