1

entail

verb en·tail \ in-ˈtāl , en- \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of entail

transitive verb
1 :to impose, involve, or imply as a necessary accompaniment or result
  • the project will entail considerable expense
2 :to restrict (property) by limiting the inheritance to the owner's lineal descendants or to a particular class thereof
3 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
  • —William Shakespeare

entailer

play \in-ˈtā-lər, en-\ noun

entailment

play \in-ˈtāl-mənt, en-\ noun

Examples of entail in a Sentence

  1. Pregnancy involves the bodily dependence of the unborn child on its mother; in many cases, it entails a significant physical burden. —Cathleen KavenyCommonweal4 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 OrleanNew Yorker15 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 GablerLife: The Movie1998
  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. HollingerIn 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

Recent Examples of entail from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of entail

Middle English entailen, entaillen, from 1en- + taile, taille limitation — more at 4tail


2

entail

noun en·tail \ ˈen-ˌtāl , in-ˈtāl \

Definition of entail

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 2) estate
2 :something transmitted as if by entail

Recent Examples of entail from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of entail


ENTAIL Defined for English Language Learners

entail

verb

Definition of entail for English Language Learners

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


Law Dictionary

1

entail

transitive verb en·tail \ in-ˈtāl \

legal Definition of entail

:to make (an estate in real property) a fee tail :limit the descent of (real property) by restricting inheritance to specific descendants who cannot convey or transfer the property
  • estates are entailed entire on the eldest male heir
  • —Benjamin Franklin

entailment

noun

Origin and Etymology of entail

Middle English entaillen, from en-, causative prefix + taille restriction on inheritance — see tail


2

entail

noun

legal Definition of entail

1 :an act or instance of entailing real property; also :the practice of entailing property
  • the repeal of the laws of entail would prevent the accumulation and perpetuation of wealth in select families
  • —Thomas Jefferson
— see also De Donis Conditionalibus
2 :an entailed estate in real property
  • if entails had not become barrable
  • —Eileen Spring
3 :the fixed line of descent of an entailed estate


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).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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