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Wattle (fold of skin in birds and lizards) hanging from a rooster’s neck.
A wattle (construction of woven branches) fence (bottom).
Wattles of a goat.
Acacia podalyriifolia, a wattle (Australian tree of the genus Acacia).


From Middle English wattel, watel, from Old English watel, watul (hurdle). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *wey- (to turn, wind, bend).



wattle (countable and uncountable, plural wattles)

  1. A construction of branches and twigs woven together to form a wall, barrier, fence, or roof.
    • 1874, Alfred Tennyson, “The Holy Grail”, in Idylls of the King (The Works of Alfred Tennyson; VI), cabinet edition, London: Henry S. King & Co., [], →OCLC, page 104:
      And there the heathen Prince, Arviragus, / Gave him an isle of marsh whereon to build; / And there he built with wattles from the marsh / A little lonely church in days of yore, []
  2. A single twig or rod laid on a roof to support the thatch.
  3. A wrinkled fold of skin, sometimes brightly coloured, hanging from the neck of birds (such as chicken and turkey) and some lizards.
  4. A barbel of a fish.
  5. A decorative fleshy appendage on the neck of a goat.
  6. Loose hanging skin in the neck of a person.
    • 2006, Peter Godwin, When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa:
      The buttons below his waddle open to reveal a ruddy V, tidemark of the sun.
  7. Any of several Australian trees and shrubs of the genus Acacia, or their bark, used in tanning, seen as a national emblem of Australia.
    • 1901, “Progress in the Fruit Industry of Queensland”, in The Agricultural Journal and Mining Record[1], volume 4, page 16:
      The tents and sheets are made of the best Canadian duck, tanned for the purpose of preservation with a strong extract of iron-bark and wattle-bark.

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wattle (third-person singular simple present wattles, present participle wattling, simple past and past participle wattled)

  1. (transitive) To construct a wattle, or make a construction of wattles.
  2. (transitive) To bind with wattles or twigs.

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