Definition of rat-tailed in English:


Pronunciation /ˈratteɪld/


  • 1Having a tail like that of a rat; (in early use especially of a horse) having a rat-tail.

  • 2Designating the aquatic larva of the drone fly (Eristalis tenax), which has a tail-like telescopic breathing tube that enables it to breathe air while submerged. Usually in "rat-tailed maggot", "rat-tailed larva".

  • 3Especially of a spoon: having a tail-like prolongation of the handle along the back of the bowl; that has a rat-tail.

  • 4Of a comb: that has a long, tapering handle at one end.


Late 17th century; earliest use found in The London Gazette. From rat + tailed.