whip·​tail ˈ(h)wip-ˌtāl How to pronounce whiptail (audio)
: any of various long slender American lizards (genus Cnemidophorus) having a whiplike tail and including some forms that are parthenogenetic

Examples of whiptail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web New Mexico whiptails actually represent a remarable evolutionary feat: Their lineage came about via the union of two separate species, the little striped whiptail and the western whiptail. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2020 Matthew Fujita, a UTA biology professor and the center’s curator of herpetology, uses the collection to study parthenogenesis, a wacky way that certain female whiptail lizards reproduce by cloning themselves. Dallas News, 3 Nov. 2022 Scientists may be able to predict evolutionary outcomes thanks to a recent study involving a whiptail lizard. Monica Cull, Discover Magazine, 11 Aug. 2022 Consider the New Mexico whiptail lizard, which reproduces through parthenogenesis, a form of asexual reproduction that allows the female to create a viable offspring without a mate. Clare Egan, Longreads, 21 Mar. 2023 For the all-female whiptail lizard, the solution is to hedge its bets. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 23 Feb. 2010 Another lizard species, the Central American whiptail, has been observed offering a potential partner a lovely dead frog to eat before mating. Hannah Thomasy, New York Times, 24 Oct. 2022 The North American whiptail lizards (Aspidoscelis) are grandmasters at it. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 5 May 2011 One whiptail lizard takes the typical male mating position (top) and the other takes the female position (bottom). Rebecca Coffey, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021 See More

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

1933, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whiptail was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near whiptail

Cite this Entry

“Whiptail.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whiptail. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

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