Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Tail

Tail

,
Noun.
[F.
taille
a cutting. See
Entail
,
Tally
.]
(Law)
Limitation; abridgment.
Burrill.
Estate in tail
,
a limited, abridged, or reduced fee; an estate limited to certain heirs, and from which the other heirs are precluded; – called also
estate tail
.
Blackstone.

Tail

,
Adj.
(Law)
Limited; abridged; reduced; curtailed;
as, estate
tail
.

Tail

,
Noun.
[AS.
taegel
,
taegl
; akin to G.
zagel
, Icel.
tagl
, Sw.
tagel
, Goth.
tagl
hair. √59.]
1.
(Zool.)
The terminal, and usually flexible, posterior appendage of an animal.
☞ The tail of mammals and reptiles contains a series of movable vertebrae, and is covered with flesh and hairs or scales like those of other parts of the body. The tail of existing birds consists of several more or less consolidated vertebrae which supports a fanlike group of quills to which the term tail is more particularly applied. The tail of fishes consists of the tapering hind portion of the body ending in a caudal fin. The term tail is sometimes applied to the entire abdomen of a crustacean or insect, and sometimes to the terminal piece or pygidium alone.
2.
Any long, flexible terminal appendage; whatever resembles, in shape or position, the tail of an animal, as a catkin.
Doretus writes a great praise of the distilled waters of those
tails
that hang on willow trees.
Harvey.
3.
Hence, the back, last, lower, or inferior part of anything, – as opposed to the
head
, or the superior part.
The Lord will make thee the head, and not the
tail
.
Deut. xxviii. 13.
4.
A train or company of attendants; a retinue.
“Ah,” said he, “if you saw but the chief with his
tail
on.”
Sir W. Scott.
5.
The side of a coin opposite to that which bears the head, effigy, or date; the reverse; – rarely used except in the expression “heads or tails,” employed when a coin is thrown up for the purpose of deciding some point by its fall.
6.
(Anat.)
The distal tendon of a muscle.
7.
(Bot.)
A downy or feathery appendage to certain achenes. It is formed of the permanent elongated style.
8.
(Surg.)
(a)
A portion of an incision, at its beginning or end, which does not go through the whole thickness of the skin, and is more painful than a complete incision; – called also
tailing
.
(b)
One of the strips at the end of a bandage formed by splitting the bandage one or more times.
9.
(Naut.)
A rope spliced to the strap of a block, by which it may be lashed to anything.
10.
(Mus.)
The part of a note which runs perpendicularly upward or downward from the head; the stem.
Moore (Encyc. of Music).
11.
pl.
Same as
Tailing
, 4.
12.
(Arch.)
The bottom or lower portion of a member or part, as a slate or tile.
13.
pl.
(Mining)
See
Tailing
,
Noun.
, 5.
Tail beam
.
(Arch.)
Same as
Tailpiece
.
Tail coverts
(Zool.)
,
the feathers which cover the bases of the tail quills. They are sometimes much longer than the quills, and form elegant plumes. Those above the quills are called the
upper tail coverts
, and those below, the
under tail coverts
.
Tail end
,
the latter end; the termination;
as, the
tail end
of a contest
.
[Colloq.]
Tail joist
.
(Arch.)
Same as
Tailpiece
.
Tail of a comet
(Astron.)
,
a luminous train extending from the nucleus or body, often to a great distance, and usually in a direction opposite to the sun.
Tail of a gale
(Naut.)
,
the latter part of it, when the wind has greatly abated.
Totten.
Tail of a lock
(on a canal),
the lower end, or entrance into the lower pond.
Tail of the trenches
(Fort.)
,
the post where the besiegers begin to break ground, and cover themselves from the fire of the place, in advancing the lines of approach.
Tail spindle
,
the spindle of the tailstock of a turning lathe; – called also
dead spindle
.
To turn tail
,
to run away; to flee.
Would she
turn tail
to the heron, and fly quite out another way; but all was to return in a higher pitch.
Sir P. Sidney.

Tail

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To follow or hang to, like a tail; to be attached closely to, as that which can not be evaded.
[Obs.]
Nevertheless his bond of two thousand pounds, wherewith he was
tailed
, continued uncanceled, and was called on the next Parliament.
Fuller.
2.
To pull or draw by the tail.
[R.]
Hudibras.
To tail in
or
To tail on
(Arch.)
,
to fasten by one of the ends into a wall or some other support;
as,
to tail in
a timber
.

Tail

,
Verb.
I.
1.
(Arch.)
To hold by the end; – said of a timber when it rests upon a wall or other support; – with in or into.
2.
(Naut.)
To swing with the stern in a certain direction; – said of a vessel at anchor;
as, this vessel
tails
down stream
.
Tail on
.
(Naut.)
See
Tally on
, under
Tally
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Tail

TAIL

, n.
1.
The part of an animal which terminates its body behind. In many quadrupeds, the tail is a shoot or projection covered with hair. In fowls, the tail consists of feathers, or is covered with them, which serve to assist in the direction of their flight. In fishes the tail is formed usually by a gradual sloping of the body, ending in a fin. The tail of a fish may assist the animal in steering, but its principal use is to propel the fish forward. It is the instrument of swimming.
2.
The lower part,noting inferiority.
The Lord will make thee the head, and not the tail. Deut.28.
3.
Any thing hanging long; a catkin.
4.
The hinder part of any thing.
5.
In anatomy, that tendon of a muscle which is fixed to the movable part.
6.
In botany, the tail of a seed, is a downy or feathery appendage to certain seeds, formed of the permanent elongated style.
7.
Horse's tail, among the Tartars and Chinese, is an ensign or flag; among the Turks, a standard borne before the grand visier, bashaws and the sangiacs. For this purpose, it is fitted to a half-pike with a gold button, and is called toug. There are bashaws of one, two and three tails.
8.
In heraldry, the tail of a hart.
9.
In music, the part of a note running upwards or downwards.
10. The extremity or last end; as the tail of a storm.
Tail of a comet, a luminous train which extends from the nucleus in a direction opposite to the sun.
To turn tail, is to run away; to flee.
Tail of a lock, on a canal, the lower end, or entrance into the lower pond.
Tail-piece, of a violin, is a piece of ebony attached to the end of the instrument, to which the strings are fastened.

TAIL

,
Noun.
In law, an estate in tail is a limited fee; an estate limited to certain heirs, and from which the other heirs are precluded. Estates tail are general or special; general, where lands and tenements are given to one, and to the heirs of his body begotten; special, where the gift is restrained to certain heirs of the donee;s body, as to his heirs by a particular woman names. See Entail.]

TAIL

,
Verb.
T.
To pull by the tail.

Definition 2022


tail

tail

See also: täil

English

Two ring-tailed lemurs, each with a long tail.

Noun

tail (plural tails)

  1. (anatomy) The caudal appendage of an animal that is attached to its posterior and near the anus.
    Most primates have a tail and fangs.
  2. The tail-end of an object, e.g. the rear of an aircraft's fuselage, containing the tailfin.
  3. An object or part of an object resembling a tail in shape, such as the thongs on a cat-o'-nine-tails.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Harvey:
      Doretus writes a great praise of the distilled waters of those tails that hang on willow trees.
  4. The rear structure of an aircraft, the empennage.
  5. Specifically, the visible stream of dust and gases blown from a comet by the solar wind.
  6. The latter part of a time period or event, or (collectively) persons or objects represented in this part.
  7. (statistics) The part of a distribution most distant from the mode; as, a long tail.
  8. One who surreptitiously follows another.
  9. (cricket) The last four or five batsmen in the batting order, usually specialist bowlers.
  10. (typography) The lower loop of the letters in the Roman alphabet, as in g, q or y.
  11. (chiefly in the plural) The side of a coin not bearing the head; normally the side on which the monetary value of the coin is indicated; the reverse.
  12. (mathematics) All the last terms of a sequence, from some term on.
    A sequence is said to be frequently if every tail of the sequence contains .
  13. (now colloquial, chiefly US) The buttocks or backside.
    • 1499, John Skelton, The Bowge of Courte:
      By Goddis sydes, syns I her thyder broughte, / She hath gote me more money with her tayle / Than hath some shyppe that into Bordews sayle.
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, I.49:
      They were wont to wipe their tailes [transl. cul] (this vaine superstition of words must be left unto women) with a sponge, and that's the reason why Spongia in Latine is counted an obscene word [].
  14. (slang) The **** of a person or animal.
    After the burly macho nudists' polar bear dip, their tails were spectacularly shrunk, so they looked like an immature kid's innocent tail.
  15. (slang, uncountable) Sexual intercourse.
    I'm gonna get me some tail tonight.
  16. (kayaking) The stern; the back of the kayak.
  17. The back, last, lower, or inferior part of anything.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xxviii. 13:
      The Lord will make thee the head, and not the tail.
  18. A train or company of attendants; a retinue.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Walter Scott:
      "Ah," said he, "if you saw but the chief with his tail on."
  19. (anatomy) The distal tendon of a muscle.
  20. A downy or feathery appendage of certain achens, formed of the permanent elongated style.
  21. (surgery) A portion of an incision, at its beginning or end, which does not go through the whole thickness of the skin, and is more painful than a complete incision; called also tailing.
  22. One of the strips at the end of a bandage formed by splitting the bandage one or more times.
  23. (nautical) A rope spliced to the strap of a block, by which it may be lashed to anything.
  24. (music) The part of a note which runs perpendicularly upward or downward from the head; the stem.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Moore (Encyc. of Music) to this entry?)
  25. (mining) A tailing.
  26. (architecture) The bottom or lower portion of a member or part such as a slate or tile.
  27. (colloquial, dated) A tailcoat.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
See also

Verb

tail (third-person singular simple present tails, present participle tailing, simple past and past participle tailed)

  1. (transitive) To follow and observe surreptitiously.
    Tail that car!
  2. (architecture) To hold by the end; said of a timber when it rests upon a wall or other support; with in or into
  3. (nautical) To swing with the stern in a certain direction; said of a vessel at anchor.
    This vessel tails downstream.
  4. To follow or hang to, like a tail; to be attached closely to, as that which can not be evaded.
    • Fuller
      Nevertheless his bond of two thousand pounds, wherewith he was tailed, continued uncancelled.
  5. To pull or draw by the tail.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hudibras to this entry?)
Translations

Etymology 2

From Anglo-Norman, probably from a shortened form of entail.

Adjective

tail

  1. (law) Limited; abridged; reduced; curtailed.
    estate tail

Noun

tail (plural tails)

  1. (law) Limitation of inheritance to certain heirs.
    tail male — limitation to male heirs
    in tail — subject to such a limitation

Anagrams


Welsh

Noun

tail

  1. ****, dung

Derived terms