coat·​tail | \ ˈkōt-ˌtāl How to pronounce coattail (audio) \

Definition of coattail

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

Examples of coattail in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Riding on Bridgerton's successful coattail, a new Shondaland show will regale the origin tale of Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel). Jacqueline Saguin, Good Housekeeping, 16 Apr. 2022 As the only other familiar face in the Nomadland cast, Strathairn seemed to have a shot at a coattail Supporting Actor nod. Nate Jones, Vulture, 19 Feb. 2021 Democrats are already tying Cornyn to the president in the hopes that Trump will be more of an albatross than coattail. Dallas News, 3 Feb. 2020 Elmhurst arrived on the coattails of Oatly’s American debut. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2020 But riding on someone else’s coattails doesn’t bother her. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, 5 Feb. 2020 Indianapolis is in the middle of a massive effort to reinvent and reinvest in the White River — on the coattails of cleaner waterways resulting from the DigIndy tunnel. Sarah Bowman, IndyStar, 2 May 2020 And that means all the other festivals that travel on its coattails, including the Edinburgh International Book Festival, are also to be silenced this year. Alexander Mccall Smith, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2020 In such a tidal wave, Trump’s coattails would be long and would install a heavy Republican majority in both houses of Congress. Conrad Black, National Review, 25 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coattail.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of coattail

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About coattail

Time Traveler for coattail

Time Traveler

The first known use of coattail was circa 1600

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near coattail

Coats Land



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for coattail

Last Updated

22 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coattail.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!