American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A cosmopolitan aquatic herb (Hippuris vulgaris) having minute flowers and linear whorled leaves.
- n. A long narrow cirrus cloud with a flowing appearance.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A plant of the genus Hippuris: most properly H. vulgaris. [In old herbals this was female horsetail, in contrast with Equisetum fluviatile, a stronger plant, called
male horsetail. But later writers say mare's-tail, as if the meaning had been female-horse tail.]
- n. The horsetail, Equisetum. See bottle-brush, 2.
- n. plural Long straight fibers of gray cirrus cloud, an indication of the approach of stormy weather.
- n. In anatomy, the cauda equina (which see, under cauda).
- Like a mare's tail; of the kind called mare's-tails: said of clouds.
- n. The horseweed, Leptilon Canadense.
- n. The heath-aster, Aster ericoides.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A long streaky cloud, spreading out like a horse's tail, and believed to indicate rain; a cirrus cloud. See cloud.
- n. (Bot.) An aquatic plant of the genus Hippuris (Hippuris vulgaris), having narrow leaves in whorls.
- n. a long narrow flowing cirrus cloud
“Among aquatic plants, mare's-tail Hippuris vulgaris is frequent along the shores of many ponds, smaller lakes and slow flowing streams.”
“The blazing sun of early morning was gone; muted by high mare's-tail clouds with lower, puffier clouds moving in on the wind.”
“There is a disembodied skylark voice somewhere high up in the mare's-tail clouds which veil the earth from too much heat and brightness; and the young heart is unhardened and unspotted from the world.”
“Long, dappled mare's-tail clouds stretched across the pale November sky, and every now and then the sun shone out between them.”
“I sat at the entrance of my gipsy-like hut, anxiously watching the weather, and absorbed in admiration of the moonrise, from which my thoughts were soon diverted by its fading light as it entered a dense mass of mare's-tail cirrus.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘mare's-tail’.
We owe our current names for clouds to Luke Howard. Wikipedia tells us that "Howard was not the first to attempt a classification of clouds—Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) had earlier proposed a ...
Looking for tweets for mare's-tail.