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

LaGuardia lost his seat to a Democrat, James Lanzetta, who rode Franklin Roosevelt’s coattails to victory in 1932. Kyle Sammin, National Review, "A Socialist Predecessor of Ocasio-Cortez in Congress," 13 Aug. 2019 Joseph, more than twice my new age and a total gentleman, wore long coattails under a short blazer. Sarah M. Broom, The New Yorker, "Who Stays Gone, and Who Can Afford to Return," 12 Aug. 2019 In the cloth of the Emcee’s coattails and the ice in Joanne’s vodka lived a deep love and respect for actors and designers, and an immovable reverence for talent. Brandon Uranowitz, Town & Country, "Legendary Broadway Director Hal Prince Remembered For His "Immovable Reverence for Talent"," 5 Aug. 2019 Trump, unpopular with most Dallas County voters, is running for reelection next year and could provide coattails or an albatross for down-ballot candidates. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, "Retired Navy Seal, Republican Floyd McLendon challenging Democrat Colin Allred for Congress," 29 July 2019 The higher futures come on the coattails of comments made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said a trade deal with China was close to done. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Stocks set to rebound after Mnuchin spurs trade optimism," 26 June 2019 While Prime Day is an Amazon-exclusive event, competitors are happy to ride the company’s coattails with specials of their own, to lure in people who are already online and looking to spend money. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Amazon Prime Day 2019: When Is It? What Are the Best Deals?," 12 June 2019 Picking the Mighty Ducks name in Anaheim to ride the marketing coattails of a Disney movie was easy. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "What’s in a name? For Seattle’s future NHL team, more than meets the Sock-eye," 12 Aug. 2018 Maduro has tried to ride Chavez's coattails since narrowly winning the presidency in 2013, but his popularity is now vastly diminished. Fox News, "Powerful, unpopular Venezuela leader faces opposition foes," 19 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of coattail

circa 1600, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

7 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for coattail

The first known use of coattail was circa 1600

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English Language Learners Definition of coattail

: a long piece of cloth that hangs down at the back of a man's formal coat
: the help or influence of another person's work, ideas, or popularity

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Comments on coattail

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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