fish·​tail | \ ˈfish-ˌtāl How to pronounce fishtail (audio) \
fishtailed; fishtailing; fishtails

Definition of fishtail

intransitive verb

1 : to swing the tail of an airplane from side to side to reduce speed especially when landing
2 : to have the rear end slide from side to side out of control while moving forward the car fishtailed on the icy curve

Examples of fishtail in a Sentence

The car fishtailed on the icy curve.

Recent Examples on the Web

The third car fishtailed and got stuck in a yard on Bay Ridge Avenue. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "18-year-old arrested for hitting Glendale cop with a stolen car while fleeing police," 25 June 2018 Braids The Insta influencer hair trend of the moment, the braid game ranged from DIY fishtails to more elaborate pierced styles. Booth Moore, The Hollywood Reporter, "Top 10 Coachella Fashion Trends: Boob Glitter, Fanny Packs, Pierced Braids and More," 16 Apr. 2018 Suddenly, the car fishtailed on the wet street, hit a tree and ricocheted into a telephone pole, crushing the vehicle and knocking Boesen unconscious. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "What Once Was Lost," 11 Sep. 2017 With a Hat Part your hair into two sections, and then fishtail each side. Brooke Shunatona, Cosmopolitan, "17 Gorgeous Boho Braids You Need in Your Life," 10 Apr. 2015 After striking the rear of Myles' car, the SUV fishtailed before running off the road and striking a tree, authorities said. Clifford Ward,, "Man charged in fatal hit-and-run crash texted photos of his damaged car, officials say," 19 May 2017 Our open Jeep fishtailed along muddy roads through northeast India’s Kaziranga National Park. National Geographic, "How Many Tigers Are There Really? A Conservation Mystery," 20 Apr. 2016 And that's him - not Steve McQueen - fishtailing down Tyler Street in San Francisco at 90 mph in Bullitt., "Loren Janes | Hollywood stuntman, 85," 4 July 2017 The back tires grab and throw the bike forward while fishtailing. David Curcurito, Popular Mechanics, "The Ural Sidecar: A Three-Wheeled Russian Motorcycle That Goes Anywhere You Want," 2 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fishtail.' 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 fishtail

1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for fishtail

The first known use of fishtail was in 1927

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English Language Learners Definition of fishtail

chiefly US, of a car, truck, etc. : to slide in an uncontrolled way with the rear end going from side to side

More from Merriam-Webster on fishtail

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fishtail

Comments on fishtail

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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