Definition of rat-tail in US English:

rat-tail

noun

  • 1A narrow hairless tail like that of a rat, or something that resembles one.

    as modifier ‘he's growing it longer, with a thin rat-tail braid at the back’
    • ‘Now pipe down or I'll drag you off by that rat-tail of yours.’
    • ‘One of Wezza's mates was hanging around outside the front of his unit, sporting a rat's tail that went halfway down his back.’
    • ‘Many years ago I tested a 45 pistol where that area of the barrel looked as if it had been cut with a rat-tail file.’
    • ‘His hair was pulled back into a tiny rat's tail at the base of his neck.’
    • ‘It was pulled back into a short rat-tail, braded and tied with a blue band, the rest was short, an almost shaved look on the sides.’
    • ‘Take your rag, rolled tightly into the shape of a rat's tail, and begin to roll it from the bottom to the top of the section.’
    • ‘Taller than most, with short cropped hair and a rat's tail, Daniel always managed to look softer than the tough appearance he tried to put on.’
    • ‘She smiled and walked over to him, casually leaning on the back on his chair and playfully tugging at his shoulder length rat-tail as she looked at the screen.’
    • ‘In addition the rat-tail is frequently of poor proportion and there is a viable seam.’
    1. 1.1British informal Hair hanging in lank, damp or greasy strands.
      • ‘Well, I saw one woman in a proper waterproof jacket but she had nothing on her head and her hair was drenched into rat-tails.’
      • ‘When he emerged, he was pasty-faced and sweating, and his long hair hung down in wet rat-tails.’
      • ‘Her hair hung in rat-tails, the gauzy dress was one big wrinkle, and her cheek had acquired an ugly purple bruise, compliments of the gorilla who almost drowned her.’
      • ‘Her hair was long, blonde and dirty, hanging in rat's tails.’
      • ‘Flowing down across his face, down through his flattened and matted hair, pulling them into stringy rat-tails, they soaked him.’
  • 2A fish with a long, thin tail.

    1. 2.1
      another term for grenadier (sense 2)
    2. 2.2
      another term for rabbitfish (sense 1 of the noun)

Pronunciation

rat-tail

/ˈrætˌteɪl//ˈratˌtāl/