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a swallow with a characteristic forked tail.
An eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly



swallowtail ‎(plural swallowtails)

  1. The forked tail of a swallow.
  2. Anything, such as a burgee, of a similar forked shape.
  3. A type of tailcoat with two long tapering tails.Wp
    • 1906, Stanley J. Weyman, Chippinge Borough, chapterI:
      It was April 22, 1831, and a young man was walking down Whitehall in the direction of Parliament Street. He wore shepherd's plaid trousers and the swallow-tail coat of the day, with a figured muslin cravat wound about his wide-spread collar.
  4. Any of various butterflies of the family Papilionidae, having a forked extension to the hind wing.