tail

3 ENTRIES FOUND:

1tail

noun, often attributive \ˈtāl\

Definition of TAIL

1
:  the rear end or a process or prolongation of the rear end of the body of an animal
2
:  something resembling an animal's tail in shape or position: as
a :  a luminous stream of particles, gases, or ions extending from a comet especially in the antisolar direction
b :  the rear part of an airplane consisting usually of horizontal and vertical stabilizing surfaces with attached control surfaces
3
:  retinue
4
plural
a :  tailcoat
b :  full evening dress for men
5
a :  buttocks, butt
b usually vulgar :  sexual intercourse
6
:  the back, last, lower, or inferior part of something
7
:  tailing 1 —usually used in plural
8
:  the reverse of a coin —usually used in plural <tails, I win>
9
:  one (as a detective) who follows or keeps watch on someone
10
:  the blank space at the bottom of a page
11
:  a location immediately or not far behind <had a posse on his tail>
tailed \ˈtāld\ adjective
tail·less \ˈtāl-ləs\ adjective
tail·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Origin of TAIL

Middle English, from Old English tægel; akin to Old High German zagal tail, Middle Irish dúal lock of hair
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Zoology Terms

altruism, integument

2tail

verb

: to follow (someone) closely

: to move in a line that is not straight

Full Definition of TAIL

transitive verb
1
:  to connect end to end
2
a :  to remove the tail of (an animal) :  dock
b :  to remove the stem or bottom part of <topping and tailing gooseberries>
3
a :  to make or furnish with a tail
b :  to follow or be drawn behind like a tail
4
:  to follow for purposes of surveillance
intransitive verb
1
:  to form or move in a straggling line
2
:  to grow progressively smaller, fainter, or more scattered :  abate —usually used with off <productivity is tailing off — Tom Nicholson>
3
:  to swing or lie with the stern in a named direction —used of a ship at anchor
4
:  2tag
tail·er noun

Examples of TAIL

  1. The police had been tailing the suspect for several miles.
  2. She is constantly tailed by the press.
  3. The pitch tailed away from the batter.

First Known Use of TAIL

1523

Related to TAIL

3tail

noun

Definition of TAIL

:  entail 1a

Origin of TAIL

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from tailler
First Known Use: 14th century

4tail

adjective

Definition of TAIL

:  limited as to tenure :  entailed

Origin of TAIL

Middle English taille, from Anglo-French taylé, past participle of tailler to cut, limit — more at tailor
First Known Use: 15th century

tail

noun , often attrib \ˈtā(ə)l\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of TAIL

1
: the rear end or a process or prolongation of the rear end of the body of an animal
2
: one end of a molecule regarded as opposite to the head; especially : the end of a lipid molecule that consists of a nonpolar hydrocarbon chain and is opposite to the polar group <most surface-active agents have a long hydrophobic tail attached to a polar head—R. E. Kirk & D. F. Othmer>
3
: any of various parts of bodily structures that are terminal: as a : the distal tendon of a muscle b : the slender left end of the human pancreas c : the common convoluted tube that forms the lower part of the epididymis
4
: the motile part of a sperm that extends from the middle piece to the end and comprises the flagellum
5
: a thin protein tube which forms part of the coat of some bacteriophages and through which DNA is injected into a cell
tailed \ˈtā(ə)ld\ adjective
tail·less \ˈtā(ə)l-les\ adjective

Illustration of TAIL

tail

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Extension of the vertebral column beyond the trunk, or any slender projection resembling such a structure. In fishes and other animals living completely or partly in water, it is very important to movement through water. Many tree-dwelling animals (e.g., squirrels) use the tail for balance and as a rudder when leaping; in some (e.g., certain monkeys), it is adapted for grasping. Birds' tail feathers aid in flight maneuverability. Other animals use their tails for defense (e.g., porcupines), social signals (e.g., dogs and cats), warning signals (e.g., deer and rattlesnakes), and hunting (e.g., alligators).

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