the tail wagging the dog

Definition of the tail wagging the dog

informal

  1. —used to describe a situation in which an important or powerful person, organization, etc., is being controlled by someone or something that is much less important or powerful

Word by Word Definitions

tailplay
  1. :  the rear end or a process or prolongation of the rear end of the body of an animal

    :  something resembling an animal's tail in shape or position: such as

    :  a luminous stream of particles, gases, or ions extending from a comet especially in the antisolar direction

  1. :  to follow for purposes of surveillance

    :  to connect end to end

    :  to remove the tail of (an animal) :  dock

  1. :  entail

  1. :  limited as to tenure :  entailed

wagplay wagging
  1. :  to be in motion :  stir

    :  to move to and fro or up and down especially with quick jerky motions

    :  to move in chatter or gossip

  1. :  an act of wagging :  shake

  1. :  wit, joker

    :  a young man :  chap

  1. :  canid

    :  a highly variable domestic mammal (Canis familiaris) closely related to the gray wolf

    :  a male dog

  1. :  canine

    :  having an inferior or inauthentic quality :  spurious

    :  unlike that used by native speakers or writers

  1. :  to hunt, track, or follow like a hound

    :  to worry as if by pursuit with dogs :  plague

    :  to bother or pester persistently

  1. :  extremely, utterly


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