from The Century Dictionary.

  • In ornithology:
  • Having stiff and generally acuminate tail-feathers; dendrocolaptine; sclerurine.
  • Having mucronate shafts of the tail-feathers; chæturine.
  • In herpetology, having the tail ending in a spine, as a serpent. See fer-de-lance, and cuts under Craspidocephalus and Cyclura.
  • In entomology, having the abdomen ending in a spine or spines.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Zoöl.) Having the tail quills ending in sharp, naked tips.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) See Spinetail (a).


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The species was not definitely ascertained; but it may have been the spine-tailed, the conspicuous feature of the

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island

  • In one instance a bird never known to alight was included — the spine-tailed swift, which occasionally tarries for a meal in the air.

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island


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