pin·​tail | \ ˈpin-ˌtāl How to pronounce pintail (audio) \
plural pintail or pintails

Definition of pintail

: 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

With the rats gone, conservationists expect to see an explosion in the number of albatrosses, skuas, terns, petrels, and South Georgia pipits and pintail ducks. Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic, "How rats became an inescapable part of city living," 17 June 2019 Birds at Mill Pond in Barnstable included 3 blue-winged teal, a Northern pintail, 5 American wigeon, 18 ring-necked ducks, and a bald eagle., "Bird sightings on Cape Cod," 12 Mar. 2018 Birds noted on South Monomoy Island included 2 blue-winged teal, 3 Northern shovelers, 14 Northern pintails, a glaucous gull, 5 American oystercatchers, and a snowy owl., "Bird sightings on Cape Cod," 30 Apr. 2018 S Hagerman Wildlife Refuge The 11,320-acre national refuge at Lake Texoma teems with winter flocks of snow geese, Ross's geese and Canada geese along with scores of winter ducks, such as American wigeons, gadwalls and Northern pintails. Houston Chronicle, "Top birding spots around Texas," 10 May 2018 Waterfowl hunters will also find nearly the same seasons, but duck hunters will find a return to a two-pintail daily limit. Bill Monroe,, "Summer ocean fishing, fall hunting seasons set for Oregon," 20 Apr. 2018 Recent bird sightings as reported to the Massachusetts Audubon Society: ►Topsfield: Waterfowl tallied at the Topsfield Fairgrounds last week included a cackling goose, 10 northern pintail, 38 green-winged teal, and a Eurasian green-winged teal., "Bird sightings," 17 Mar. 2018 Hunting - Guide Brian Davenport of Fin and Fowl reported solid hunts in the marsh east of town for teal, gadwalls and pintails. Bink Grimes, Houston Chronicle, "Outdoors report: Jan. 13," 12 Jan. 2018 Dozens of different birds—Northern pintails, wild turkeys, Franklin's gulls, Steller's jays, and cedar waxwings, just to name a few—make homes for themselves in Yellowstone National Park during at least part of the year. National Geographic, "More Birds Expected for Majority of National Parks—Here's Why," 21 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of pintail

1768, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pintail

Statistics for pintail

Last Updated

30 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pintail

The first known use of pintail was in 1768

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on pintail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pintail Encyclopedia article about pintail

Comments on pintail

What made you want to look up pintail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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