Definition of Tail

n.1.(Law) Limitation; abridgment.
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.
a.1.(Law) Limited; abridged; reduced; curtailed; as, estate tail.
n.1.(Zool.) The terminal, and usually flexible, posterior appendage of an animal.
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 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.
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.
11.Same as Tailing, 4.
12.(Arch.) The bottom or lower portion of a member or part, as a slate or tile.
13.(Mining) See Tailing, n., 5.
14.(Astronomy) the long visible stream of gases, ions, or dust particles extending from the head of a comet in the direction opposite to the sun.
15.(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.
16.A tailed coat; a tail coat.
17.(Aëronautics) In airplanes, an airfoil or group of airfoils used at the rear to confer stability.
18.the buttocks.
19.sexual intercourse, or a woman used for sexual intercourse; as, to get some tail; to find a piece of tail. See also tailing{3}.
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.
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.
Tail of a lock
the lower end, or entrance into the lower pond.
- Totten.
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.
v. t.1.To follow or hang to, like a tail; to be attached closely to, as that which can not be evaded.
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.
To tail in
(Arch.) to fasten by one of the ends into a wall or some other support; as, to tail in a timber.
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 stream.
Tail on
(Naut.) See Tally on, under Tally.

Related Words

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Tail beam
Tail coverts
Tail end
tail gunner
Tail joist
Tail of a comet
Tail of a gale
Tail of a lock
Tail of the trenches
Tail on
Tail spindle
Tail stock
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