any tall, reedlike marsh plant of the genus Typha, especially T. latifolia, having long, sword-shaped leaves and dense, cylindrical clusters of minute brown flowers.
Historical Examples

Perched upon a swaying last year’s cattail, Mr. Red-winged Blackbird shook his head in reply.
The Tale of Bobby Bobolink Arthur Scott Bailey

They may have been saying: “Already the boys are shouting, The cattail is in bloom!”
Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs Alice C. Fletcher

Nests are placed within a few feet of water in cattail, rush, sedge, and willow.
The Breeding Birds of Kansas Richard F. Johnston

In her hand was a brown “cattail,” perfectly full and round.
The Shape of Fear Elia W. Peattie

At this point, Marcus noticed a brown something bearing a strong resemblance to the swamp stalk, known among boys as the cattail.
Round the Block John Bell Bouton

There was also much of the wild flax, of which we now obtained some ripe seed, as well as some bullrush and cattail flag.
History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Vol. I. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

Inside is a warm, soft bed made of milkweed or cattail down, the very nicest kind of a bed for the babies.
The Burgess Animal Book for Children Thornton W. Burgess

Nests are made of marsh vegetation (arrowhead, cattail) and float on water.
The Breeding Birds of Kansas Richard F. Johnston

Nests are placed on the ground surface, in cover of grasses, cattail and sedges.
The Breeding Birds of Kansas Richard F. Johnston

She ran from the tussock and flew a short distance away to a cattail stem.
Comparative Breeding Behavior of Ammospiza caudacuta and A. maritima Glen E. Woolfenden


also cat’s tail, type of plant, mid-15c., from cat (n.) + tail (n.).


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