1

tail

noun, often attributive \ ˈtāl \

Definition of tail

1 : the rear end or a process or prolongation of the rear end of the body of an animal
2 : something resembling an animal's tail in shape or position: such as
a : a luminous stream of particles, gases, or ions extending from a comet especially in the antisolar direction
b : the rear part of an airplane consisting usually of horizontal and vertical stabilizing surfaces with attached control surfaces
3 : the reverse of a coin usually used in plural
  • tails, I win
4 tails plural
a : tailcoat
b : full evening dress for men
5 : a location immediately or not far behind
  • had a posse on his tail
6 : one (such as a detective) who follows or keeps watch on someone
7 a : buttocks, butt
b slang, vulgar : sexual intercourse
8 : retinue
9 : the back, last, lower, or inferior part of something
10 : tailing 1 usually used in plural
11 : the blank space at the bottom of a page

tailed

play \ˈtāld\ adjective

tailless

play \ˈtāl-ləs\ adjective

taillike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Origin and Etymology of tail

Middle English, from Old English tægel; akin to Old High German zagal tail, Middle Irish dúal lock of hair

Other Zoology Terms


2

tail

verb

Definition of tail

transitive verb
1 : to follow for purposes of surveillance
2 : to connect end to end
3 a : to remove the tail of (an animal) : dock
b : to remove the stem or bottom part of
  • topping and tailing gooseberries
4 a : to make or furnish with a tail
b : to follow or be drawn behind like a tail
intransitive verb
1 : to form or move in a straggling line
2 : to grow progressively smaller, fainter, or more scattered : abate usually used with off
  • productivity is tailing off
  • —Tom Nicholson
3 : to swing or lie with the stern in a named direction used of a ship at anchor
4 : 2tag

tailer

noun

Examples of tail in a Sentence

  1. The police had been tailing the suspect for several miles.

  2. She is constantly tailed by the press.

  3. The pitch tailed away from the batter.

tail Synonyms

Synonyms
bird-dog, chase, course, dog, hound, pursue, run, shadow, tag, follow, trace, track, trail
Antonyms
guide, lead, pilot
Related Words
accompany, chaperone (or chaperon), escort; hunt, search (for), seek; eye, observe, watch
Near Antonyms
head

3

tail

noun

Definition of tail

: entail 1a

Origin and Etymology of tail

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from tailler


4

tail

adjective

Definition of tail

: limited as to tenure : entailed

Origin and Etymology of tail

Middle English taille, from Anglo-French taylé, past participle of tailler to cut, limit — more at tailor



TAIL Defined for English Language Learners

tail

verb

Definition of tail for English Language Learners

  • : to follow (someone) closely

  • : to move in a line that is not straight


TAIL Defined for Kids

1

tail

noun \ ˈtāl \

Definition of tail for Students

1 : the rear part of an animal or a usually slender flexible growth that extends from this part
2 : something that in shape, appearance, or position is like an animal's tail
  • the tail of a coat
3 : the back, last, or lower part of something
  • the tail of an airplane
4 : the side or end opposite the head

tailed

\ˈtāld\ adjective

tailless

\ˈtāl-ləs\ adjective

2

tail

verb

Definition of tail for Students

tailed; tailing
: to follow closely to keep watch on
  • Police tailed the suspect.

Medical Dictionary

tail

noun, often attributive \ ˈtā(ə)l \

medical Definition of tail

1 : the rear end or a process or prolongation of the rear end of the body of an animal
2 : one end of a molecule regarded as opposite to the head; especially : the end of a lipid molecule that consists of a nonpolar hydrocarbon chain and is opposite to the polar group
  • most surface-active agents have a long hydrophobic tail attached to a polar head
  • —R. E. Kirk & D. F. Othmer
3 : any of various parts of bodily structures that are terminal: as
a : the distal tendon of a muscle
b : the slender left end of the human pancreas
c : the common convoluted tube that forms the lower part of the epididymis
4 : the motile part of a sperm that extends from the middle piece to the end and comprises the flagellum
5 : a thin protein tube which forms part of the coat of some bacteriophages and through which DNA is injected into a cell

tailed

play \ˈtā(ə)ld\ adjective

tailless

play \ˈtā(ə)l-les\ adjective

Illustration of tail


Law Dictionary

1

tail

noun

legal Definition of tail

1 : the condition of being limited or restricted by entailing
  • a tenant in tail
2 : entail 2

Origin and Etymology of tail

Anglo-French, literally, cutting, from Old French, from taillier to cut, prune


2

tail

adjective

legal Definition of tail

: limited as to tenure — see also fee tail at fee 1


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