entail

verb
en·​tail | \ in-ˈtāl How to pronounce entail (audio) , en-\
entailed; entailing; entails

Definition of entail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
3a : 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

entail

noun
en·​tail | \ ˈen-ˌtāl How to pronounce entail (audio) , in-ˈtāl How to pronounce entail (audio) \

Definition of entail (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : 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 entail entry 1 sense 2) estate
2 : something transmitted as if by entail

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Other Words from entail

Verb

entailer \ in-​ˈtā-​lər How to pronounce entailer (audio) , en-​ \ noun
entailment \ in-​ˈtāl-​mənt How to pronounce entailment (audio) , en-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for entail

Synonyms: Verb

carry, comprehend, contain, embrace, encompass, include, involve, number, subsume, take in

Antonyms: Verb

exclude, leave (out), miss out [British], omit

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Examples of entail in a Sentence

Verb

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 … 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 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 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 He accepted the responsibility, with all that it entails. a lavish wedding entails extensive planning and often staggering expense
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unfortunately that sometimes entails making some accusations against Iran that are somewhat questionable. Washington Post, "The Taliban claimed an attack on U.S. forces. Pompeo blamed Iran.," 15 June 2019 This year’s rain delay game entailed coming up with the best mixed doubles teams. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 French Open: Rafa, Barty and So Much More," 9 June 2019 One entails standing on the woman’s belly and massaging it with your feet; the other, more brutal method involves yanking the fetus out with your hand. Saira Khan, The New Yorker, "“The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told” Is a Belated Introduction to a Thrilling Canon," 7 June 2019 Just as cooking is an art form, forging these knives entail an artistic process. Popular Mechanics, "These Laser-Sharp Japanese Knives Are a Kitchen Staple," 14 Mar. 2019 Typically such settlements entail making a payment to an accuser in exchange for his or her signing a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Ben Widdicombe, Town & Country, "How Much Does It Cost to Keep Your Name Out of the News?," 18 Jan. 2019 The first experiment entailed growing red romaine lettuce in pillows of clay instead of soil. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How NASA is learning to grow plants in space and on other worlds," 21 Sep. 2018 The effort also entailed a lighted crosswalk between Stonegrove Overlook and the bridge over Johns Creek. David Ibata, ajc, "Johns Creek closes Parsons Road sidewalk gap," 6 July 2018 His little sibs Charlotte and Louis are, by order of their birth, the unavoidable spares, saddled with the insecurity that entails. Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "An Open Letter to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's New Royal Baby," 7 May 2019

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.

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First Known Use of entail

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for entail

Verb and Noun

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

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Learn More about entail

Dictionary Entries near entail

entablatured

entablement

Entada

entail

entame

entamoeba

entangle

Statistics for entail

Last Updated

18 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for entail

The first known use of entail was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for entail

entail

verb

English Language Learners Definition of entail

: to have (something) as a part, step, or result
en·​tail | \ in-ˈtāl How to pronounce entail (audio) \

Legal Definition of entail

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

Other Words from entail

entailment noun

entail

noun

Legal Definition of entail (Entry 2 of 2)

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

History and Etymology for entail

Transitive verb

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on entail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with entail

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for entail

Spanish Central: Translation of entail

Nglish: Translation of entail for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entail for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about entail

Comments on entail

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