Definitions for: Tail

[n] the posterior part of the body of a vertebrate especially when elongated and extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body
[n] the rear part of a ship
[n] the rear part of an aircraft
[n] (usually plural) the reverse side of a coin that does not bear the representation of a person's head
[n] the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
[n] a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements
[n] any projection that resembles the tail of an animal
[n] the time of the last part of something; "the fag end of this crisis-ridden century"; "the tail of the storm"
[v] remove the stalk of fruits or berries
[v] remove or shorten the tail of an animal
[v] go after with the intent to catch

Webster (1913) Definition: Tail, n.
1. pl. (Rope Making) In some forms of rope-laying machine,
pieces of rope attached to the iron bar passing through
the grooven wooden top containing the strands, for
wrapping around the rope to be laid.

2. pl. A tailed coat; a tail coat. [Colloq. or Dial.]

Tail, n. (A["e]ronautics)
In flying machines, a plane or group of planes used at the
rear to confer stability.

Tail, n. [F. taille a cutting. See Entail, Tally.]
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.

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

Tail, n. [AS. t[ae]gel, t[ae]gl; akin to G. zagel, Icel.
tagl, Sw. tagel, Goth. tagl hair. [root]59.]
1. (Zo["o]l.) The terminal, and usually flexible, posterior
appendage of an animal.

Note: The tail of mammals and reptiles contains a series of
movable vertebr[ae], 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 vertebr[ae] 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.

3. Hence, the back, last, lower, or inferior part of
anything, -- as opposed to the head, or the superior

The Lord will make thee the head, and not the tail.
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.

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

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, n., 5.

Tail beam. (Arch.) Same as Tailpiece.

Tail coverts (Zo["o]l.), 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.

Tail, v. 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 on (Arch.), to fasten by one of the ends
into a wall or some other support; as, to tail in a

Tail, v. 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

Tail on. (Naut.) See Tally on, under Tally.

Synonyms: after part, arse, ass, backside, behind, bob, bottom, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, can, chase, chase after, derriere, dock, dog, empennage, fag end, fanny, fundament, go after, hind end, hindquarters, keister, nates, poop, posterior, prat, quarter, rear, rear end, rump, seat, shadow, shadower, stern, stern, tag, tail assembly, tail end, tail end, tail end, tooshie, track, trail, tush

Antonyms: head

See Also: appendage, back, bob, bobtail, body, body part, caudal appendage, chase away, coin, craniate, cut, dispel, dock, drive away, drive off, drive out, end, ending, escutcheon, flag, fluke, follow, follower, fuselage, horizontal tail, hound, hunt, outgrowth, oxtail, pinch, process, projection, pursue, quest, rattle, rear, reverse, run down, run off, scut, ship, skeg, spy, stabilizer, tag along, top, torso, trace, trunk, turn back, uropygium, verso, vertebrate, vertical tail

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