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verb en·tail \in-ˈtāl, en-\

Simple Definition of entail

  • : to have (something) as a part, step, or result

Full Definition of entail

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to restrict (property) by limiting the inheritance to the owner's lineal descendants or to a particular class thereof

  3. 2 a :  to confer, assign, or transmit (something) for an indefinitely long time :  to confer, assign, or transmit as if by entail <entailed on them indelible disgrace — Robert Browning> b :  to fix (a person) permanently in some condition or status <entail him and his heirs unto the crown — Shakespeare>

  4. 3 :  to impose, involve, or imply as a necessary accompaniment or result <the project will entail considerable expense>

en·tail·er play \-ˈtā-lər\ noun
en·tail·ment play \-ˈtāl-mənt\ noun

Examples of entail

  1. Pregnancy involves the bodily dependence of the unborn child on its mother; in many cases, it entails a significant physical burden. —Cathleen Kaveny, Commonweal, 4 May 2007

  2. … it was a Master Highlighter Event, a two-day guest appearance by one of Kinkade's specially trained assistants, who would highlight any picture bought during the event for free. Highlighting a picture is not that different from highlighting your hair: it entails stippling tiny bright dots of paint on the picture to give it more texture and luminescence. —Susan Orlean, New Yorker, 15 Oct. 2001

  3. Life is a difficult and complicated enterprise. It entails joy but also suffering, gain but also loss, hope but also despair. —Neal Gabler, Life: The Movie, 1998

  4. Discourse is a social as well as an intellectual activity; it entails interaction between minds, and it revolves around something possessed in common. —David A. Hollinger, In the American Province, (1985) 1992

  5. He accepted the responsibility, with all that it entails.

  6. <a lavish wedding entails extensive planning and often staggering expense>

Origin of entail

Middle English entailen, entaillen, from 1en- + taile, taille limitation — more at tail

First Known Use: 14th century



noun en·tail \ˈen-ˌtāl, in-ˈtāl\

Definition of entail

  1. 1 a :  a restriction especially of lands by limiting the inheritance to the owner's lineal descendants or to a particular class thereof b :  an entailed (see 1entail) estate

  2. 2 :  something transmitted as if by entail

Origin of entail

(see 1entail)

First Known Use: 14th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up entail? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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