pintail

noun

pin·​tail ˈpin-ˌtāl How to pronounce pintail (audio)
plural pintail or pintails
: a bird having elongated central tail feathers
especially : a slender long-necked duck (Anas acuta) of the northern hemisphere with the breeding male having a brown head, a white breast with a white line continuing up the side of the neck, chiefly gray upperparts, and a long black tail and with the female having chiefly mottled brown plumage

Examples of pintail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Canvasback Duck Distribution Unlike pintails, widgeon, and green-wing teal, canvasback ducks are almost exclusively a bird of North America, found in all four flyways. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 8 Nov. 2023 Other interesting sightings were nine Northern pintails at the Monomoy Connector Beach, a hooded merganser at the Pogorelc Sanctuary in West Barnstable, a black skimmer at Menauhant Beach in Falmouth, and a white-eyed vireo at The Knob in Falmouth. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Aug. 2023 The daily bag limit in each zone can include no more than four mallards (of which two may be hens), three wood ducks, two canvasbacks, two redheads, two black ducks and one pintail. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 22 Apr. 2023 From the other side of the room, northern pintails and shovelers began curiously stepping around the ropes separating the habitat from the walkway and waddled along the pedestrian path to check out the food. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2023 One Northern pintail duck was also killed. Ashraf Khalil, ajc, 5 May 2022 Duck hunters will again enjoy a liberal bag limit of six ducks per day that can be any combination of four mallards (no more than two of which may be female), three wood ducks, one mottle duck, two black ducks, two redheads, one pintail, two canvasbacks and one scaup. Frank Sargeant, al, 24 Nov. 2021 The mallard/pintail is the most common. Ryan Chelius, Outdoor Life, 1 Mar. 2021 Other sightings around the Cape included a blue-winged teal and 5 Northern pintail in Marstons Mills, a glaucous gull at Corporation Beach in Dennis, a great egret in West Dennis, 2 snowy egrets in Yarmouth, and a short-eared owl in Eastham. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Dec. 2022

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

1768, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pintail was in 1768

Dictionary Entries Near pintail

Cite this Entry

“Pintail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pintail. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

pintail

noun
pin·​tail ˈpin-ˌtāl How to pronounce pintail (audio)
plural pintail or pintails
: a bird (as a duck or grouse) with long central tail feathers

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