noun \ˈkōt-ˌtāl\

: a long piece of cloth that hangs down at the back of a man's formal coat

coattails : the help or influence of another person's work, ideas, or popularity

Full Definition of COATTAIL

:  the rear flap of a man's coat
plural :  the skirts of a dress coat, cutaway, or frock coat
plural :  the influence or pulling power of a popular movement or person (as a political candidate) <congressmen riding into office on the president's coattails>

First Known Use of COATTAIL

circa 1600


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