tail

Definitions

  • 36 Fox tail tenon
    36 Fox tail tenon
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v tail remove the stalk of fruits or berries
    • v tail remove or shorten the tail of an animal
    • v tail go after with the intent to catch "The policeman chased the mugger down the alley","the dog chased the rabbit"
    • n tail the posterior part of the body of a vertebrate especially when elongated and extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body
    • n tail the rear part of a ship
    • n tail the rear part of an aircraft
    • n tail (usually plural) the reverse side of a coin that does not bear the representation of a person's head
    • n tail the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on "he deserves a good kick in the butt","are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?"
    • n tail a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements
    • n tail any projection that resembles the tail of an animal
    • n tail the time of the last part of something "the fag end of this crisis-ridden century","the tail of the storm"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Eagle tail. Arikara Eagle tail. Arikara
The Fox without a Tail The Fox without a Tail
The Pig's Tail The Pig's Tail
A kitten looks worried, as a puppy destroys a flower bed while it's trying to catch its own tail A kitten looks worried, as a puppy destroys a flower bed while it's trying to catch its own tail
LONG-TAILED TIT LONG-TAILED TIT
HORSE-TAIL HORSE-TAIL
"You could tie a knot  on your tail "You could tie a knot on your tail
Skin impression from the tail of a Trachodon Skin impression from the tail of a Trachodon

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The word "comet" comes from the Greek word "kometes" meaning long hair and referring to the tail
    • Tail (Bot) A downy or feathery appendage to certain achenes. It is formed of the permanent elongated style.
    • Tail (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.
    • Tail (Naut) A rope spliced to the strap of a block, by which it may be lashed to anything.
    • Tail A tailed coat; a tail coat.
    • Tail A train or company of attendants; a retinue. "“Ah,” said he, “if you saw but the chief with his tail on.”"
    • Tail 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."
    • Tail 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 ."
    • Tail (Aëronautics) In airplanes, an airfoil or group of airfoils used at the rear to confer stability.
    • Tail (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.
    • n Tail (Law) Limitation; abridgment.
    • a Tail (Law) Limited; abridged; reduced; curtailed; as, estate tail .
    • Tail (Surg) One of the strips at the end of a bandage formed by splitting the bandage one or more times.
    • Tail Same as Tailing, 4.
    • Tail (Mining) See Tailing n., 5.
    • Tail sexual intercourse, or a woman used for sexual intercourse; as, to get some tail; to find a piece of tail . See also tailing{3. "Would she turn tail to the heron, and fly quite out another way; but all was to return in a higher pitch."
    • Tail (Arch) The bottom or lower portion of a member or part, as a slate or tile.
    • Tail the buttocks.
    • Tail (Anat) The distal tendon of a muscle.
    • Tail (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.
    • Tail (Mus) The part of a note which runs perpendicularly upward or downward from the head; the stem.
    • Tail 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.
    • Tail (Zoöl) The terminal, and usually flexible, posterior appendage of an animal.
    • Tail 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."
    • Tail (Arch) To hold by the end; -- said of a timber when it rests upon a wall or other support; -- with in or into.
    • Tail To pull or draw by the tail.
    • Tail (Naut) To swing with the stern in a certain direction; -- said of a vessel at anchor; as, this vessel tails down stream.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Great Comet of 1843 had a tail that was over 300 kilometres long.
    • n tail The end of the fiber that is combed last on a combing-machine.
    • n tail The players on a side who are not counted on for runs, and who are consequently sent last to bat.
    • n tail The posterior extremity of an animal, in any way distinguished from the rest of the body; the hind end or hinder part of the body, opposite the head; especially, the coccygeal region or caudal appendage, when prolonged beyond the rest of the body. More particularly— In mammals generally, the cauda, which may be a mere stump, or a slender appendage longer than the rest of the body. It consists of an indefinitely numerous series of coccygeal vertebræ with usually elongated bodies and reduced or aborted processes or neural canal, covered with flesh, etc., and enveloped in integument frequently hairy, like the rest of the body. These vertebræ resemble the joints or phalanges of a finger, and the whole organ is usually flexible, and may be prehensile, like a hand. In mammals without hind limbs, as cetaceans, the tail is the small or tapering hind part of the body ending in the flukes, or the flukes themselves.
    • n tail In the Turkish empire, a horsetail, or one of two or three horsetails, formerly borne as a standard of relative rank before pashas, who were accordingly distinguished as pashas (or bashaws) of one, two, or three tails.
    • n tail A taillike appendage or continuation; any terminal attachment to or prolonged part of an object comparable to the tail of an animal: as, the tail of a kite, or of the letter y; the tail of a coat (a coat-tail), or (colloquially) of a woman's long dress.
    • n tail Specifically— In anatomy: The slenderest or most movable part of a muscle, or the tendon of a muscle that is attached to the part especially moved when the muscle acts; the insertion, opposite the origin or head.
    • n tail The outer corner of the eye; the exterior canthus: more fully called tail of the eye.
    • n tail In entomology, one of the long slender prolongations backward of the wings, as of a butterfly or moth: more fully called tail of the wing. See cut under Papilio.
    • n tail Some elongated flexible part or appendage, as a proboscis or footstalk.
    • n tail In astronomy, the luminous train, often of enormous length, extending from the head of a comet in a direction nearly opposite to that of the sun.
    • n tail In botany, any slender terminal prolongation, as the appendage to the seeds of Clematis, Juncus, etc., or the linear extension from the base of the anther-lobes in many Compositæ. Said also sometimes of a petiole or peduncle.
    • n tail In musical notation, same as stem, 6.
    • n tail Nautical, a rope spliced round a block so as to leave a long end by which the block may be attached to any object. See tail-block.
    • n tail Something formed like a tail; an arrangement of objects or persons extending, or imagined to extend, as a tail or train. Specifically— A long curl, braid, or gathering of hair: also called a cue or queue, or a pigtail, when hanging down behind in a single strand.
    • n tail A line of persons awaiting their turns, as at a ticket-office or a bank; a cue.
    • n tail A train of followers or attendants; a body of persons holding rank after some chief or leader; the following of a chief or commander.
    • n tail The hinder, bottom, or concluding part of anything, in space or in time; the part or section opposed to the head, mass, or beginning; the termination or extremity; the back; the rear; the conclusion.
    • n tail Specifically— Of a coin, the reverse, or the side opposite that bearing the head or effigy, as in the expression head or tail, or heads and tails, with reference to the side that may turn in the tossing or twirling of coins as a game. Compare cross and pile, under cross.
    • n tail Of a roofing-slate or -tile, or the like, the lower or exposed part.
    • n tail Of a projecting stone or brick built into a wall, the inner or covered end. Also called tailing.
    • n tail plural That which is left of a mass of material after treatment, as by distillation or trituration and decantation; a residuum; tailings.
    • n tail In surgery, a part 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. Also called tailing.
    • n tail plural A coat with tails. See tail-coat.
    • n tail In bookbinding, the bottom or lower edge of a book. The term is applied both to the paper of the text and to the cover of the book.
    • n tail The handle of some kinds of rake, as of those used for oystering, etc.
    • n tail In mining, the poor part, or that part deposited at the lower end of a trough in which tin ore settles as it flows from the stamps, according to the mode of ore-dressing employed in some Cornish mines. The middle part is called the craze, and the upper the head; each of these divisions is concentrated separately in a round huddle, and then finished off in the keeves. This method is adopted in certain mines where the rock has to be stamped very fine because the ore is disseminated through it in very minute particles.
    • tail To furnish with a tail or form with a tail, or anything called a tail; fix a tail to: as, to tail a kite or a salmon-fly.
    • tail To join or connect as a tail; fix in a line or in continuation.
    • tail To remove the tail or end of; free from any projection: as, to tail gooseberries.
    • tail To pull by the tail.
    • tail In Australia, to herd or take care of, as sheep or cattle.
    • tail To extend, move, pass, or form a line or continuation in some way suggestive of a tail in any sense: used in certain phrases descriptive of particular kinds of action.
    • tail To wind up.
    • tail To stop, as drinking, gradually; end by easy stages; taper off.
    • n tail Something cut or carved; specifically, a tally. See tally.
    • n tail A reckoning; count; amount; tally.
    • n tail In law, a setting off or limitation of ownership; a state of entailment.
    • n tail An entail.
    • tail In law, being in tail; set apart, as an estate limited to a particular line of descent.
    • tail To cut or carve; carve out.
    • tail To mark on a tally; set down.
    • tail To cut off or limit as a settled possession; entail; encumber or limit, as by an entail.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: You should not eat a crawfish with a straight tail. It was dead before it was cooked.
    • n Tail tāl the posterior extremity of an animal, its caudal appendage: anything resembling a tail in appearance, position, &c.: the back, lower, or hinder part of anything: a retinue, suite: a queue or body of persons in single file: anything long and hanging, as a catkin, train of a comet, long curl of hair, &c.: in Turkey, a horse-tail, formerly carried before a pasha as an emblem of relative rank
    • v.t Tail to fasten something to the tail of, as a dog, to fix something to one by way of joke
    • n Tail tāl (law) the term applied to an estate which is cut off or limited to certain heirs
    • ***

Quotations

  • Spencer Tracy
    Spencer Tracy
    “There were many times my pants were so thin I could sit on a dime and tell if it was heads or tails.”
  • Arnold Toynbee
    Arnold Toynbee
    “America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.”
  • John Dryden
    John%20Dryden
    “Roused by the lash of his own stubborn tail our lion now will foreign foes assail.”
  • Josh Billings
    Josh%20Billings
    “Don't take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to.”
  • Fran Lebowitz
    Fran%20Lebowitz
    “If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater suggest that he wear a tail.”
  • Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham%20Lincoln
    “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.”

Idioms

Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion - This means that it is better to be the head or at the top of something that isn't very important or prestigious than a small or unimportant member of something big.
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Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed - If someone's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, they are full of energy and enthusiasm.
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Chase your tail - If you are chasing your tail, you are very busy but not being very productive.
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Have your tail up - If someone has their tail up, they are optimistic and expect to be successful.
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Head nor tail - If you can't make head nor tail of something, you cannot understand it at all or make any sense of it.
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Work your tail off - If you work your tail off, you work extremely hard.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. tægel, tægl,; akin to G. zagel, Icel. tagl, Sw. tagel, Goth. tagl, hair. √59
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. taille, cutting. Cf. Entail.

Usage

In literature:

So yonder she sets a shellin' out co'n To Mammy's ole bob-tailed rooster.
"Negro Folk Rhymes" by Thomas W. Talley
No doubt this object looked very different from a great comet, decorated with a tail.
"The Story of the Heavens" by Robert Stawell Ball
His body, without the tail, is about five and a half to six feet long.
"The Wonders of the Jungle, Book Two" by Prince Sarath Ghosh
He had the mane and the tail of a lion.
"Once on a Time" by A. A. Milne
The string on Maurice's tail tightened, his tail was jerked, he was stopped.
"The Magic World" by Edith Nesbit
The legs are firm and muscular; the tail is short, with a tuft at the end.
"Delineations of the Ox Tribe" by George Vasey
Its tail is short and pointed, and it has no drooping tail feathers.
"Friends in Feathers and Fur, and Other Neighbors" by James Johonnot
No trace of a tail was discernible.
"A Popular History of Astronomy During the Nineteenth Century" by Agnes M. (Agnes Mary) Clerke
One little wave of his tail made my rod bend dangerously.
"Tales of Fishes" by Zane Grey
It is in the end of the Little Bear's tail.
"Boy Scouts Handbook" by Boy Scouts of America
Twinkle-tail was rather early for breakfast.
"The Shepherd of the North" by Richard Aumerle Maher
If the fracture is in the sacrum (the division of the spinal column between the loins and the tail), the tail alone is paralyzed.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
The Jackal was ashamed to have lost his tail, which was a particularly long and fine tail; but he pretended to like it.
"The Talking Thrush" by William Crooke
He was evidently unprepared, for he turned and moved across our tail.
"Cavalry of the Clouds" by Alan Bott
The tail stock is extremely thick and does not narrow laterally until very near the tail flukes.
"Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the Western North Atlantic" by Stephen Leatherwood
In this pelt the tail bone had been cut off close to the body and left in the tail.
"Fifty Years a Hunter and Trapper" by Eldred Nathaniel Woodcock
The figures are from root of tail (tail not measured) to end of nose.
"Mink Trapping" by A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
The tail is usually about eight inches long and is quite bushy.
"Science of Trapping" by Elmer Harry Kreps
He will place the head of one to the tail of another, the tails folded in.
"Deadfalls and Snares" by A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
The greatest number are trapped at their dens which can be easily told by the long tail hairs found in and near the mouth of den.
"Steel Traps" by A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
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In poetry:

She was made of black motherofpearl
Made of darkpurple grapes,
And she lashed my blood
With her tail of fire.
"The Fickle One" by Pablo Neruda
But Flash looked so good-natured,
With his tail curled up behind,
That his aunty said to Walter,
"Never mind, mind, mind."
"Walter And His Dog" by Eliza Lee Follen
The little things that none but I
Saw were beyond his wont,
The streaming hair, the tie behind,
The coat tails worn in front.
"A Dedication To E.C.B." by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Galliant gents and lovely ladies,
List a tail vich late befel,
Vich I heard it, bein on duty,
At the Pleace Hoffice, Clerkenwell.
"The Ballad Of Eliza Davis" by William Makepeace Thackeray
"Scourged at one cart-tail, each denied
The hope of every other;
Each martyr shook his branded fist
At the conscience of his brother!
"A Spiritual Manifestation" by John Greenleaf Whittier
But I tried to pray as ane micht dae,
Whase moments number'd be,
But he pu'd my coat tails, cryin', 'Ledgie, man,
Pit in a word for me.'
"Ledgie Cooper" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

Bubby 's is also a sponsor of Tiny Tails K-9 Rescue.
Watch Out for the Tail.
Getting swept by the team tailing you in the standings is tough enough.
Leveling the tail vise plate.
(about 40) prawns cleaned with tail on.
Hershey Color: Mostly Black with some white on her tail, chest and left paw.
Erin Borror was branding a calf with the rocking b brand on left hip, while Bryce Borror was holding the tail so calf wouldnot wiggle.
Moby Trick – Whale Tail.
"And get the bits together, the fat tail, every good part".
These bushy-tailed mammals are mostly nocturnal and not very territorial.
Cutting off the Long Tail Photo Gallery.
Cutting off the Long Tail.
(Host) The white-tailed deer occupies a place of honor in Vermont.
That's when they begin a head to tail movement, like a reptile, that pushes them to the ground to enhance the traction of their legs.
A bird about 18 inches long with a tail more than half its length.
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In science:

In the limit N tends to infinity the origin of the tail is shifted to infinity, i. e., the tail vanishes.
Tails of probability density for sums of random independent variables
In this case one has a superlight tail (actually, no tail at all).
Tails of probability density for sums of random independent variables
Prob {M ([0, t]) ≥ x} ∼ x−q∗ , when x → +∞ (50) The pdf of the measure M ([0, t]) is thus heavy tailed with a tail exponent that can be, unlike classical α-stable laws, arbitrary large.
Multifractal stationary random measures and multifractal random walks with log-infinitely divisible scaling laws
Weibull family (for upper bounded variables), the Fr´echet family (for power-law-tailed variables) or the Gumbel distribution (for exponential-tailed variables).
Universal Statistics of the Critical Depinning Force of Elastic Systems in Random Media
The relationship between the Poisson and the tail boundaries for RWRTP turns out to be more complicated than for ordinary random walks (where the tail and the Poisson boundaries coincide with respect to any single point initial distribution).
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
The quotient E of the path space (X Z+ , Pm ) with respect to the tail partition α∞ is called the tail boundary .
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
The tail equivalence relation is also discrete, and the tail boundary E is then the space of the ergodic components of R (see Appendix for the definition).
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
For any probability measure θ ≺ m the tail measure εθ = tail(Pθ ) is absolutely continuous with respect to [εm ].
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
Denote by E the tail boundary of RWTDI(µ), and by εn,θ = tail(Pn,θ ) (resp., εn,g , etc.) the tail measures on E .
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
Denote by ε = tail(P) the associated tail measure.
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
In this Section we shall also use the term local triviality in order to distinguish it from the total triviality of the tail boundary when the total tail boundary (E , [εm ])) is a singleton.
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
It also implies that local triviality of the tail boundary of RWTDI(Sµ) follows from local triviality of the tail boundary of RWTDI(µ).
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
Therefore, the tail boundary E will always be endowed with the tail measure ε = tailP.
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
The fibers of the pro jection pΩ : (E , ε) → (Ω, λ) are the tail boundaries (Eω , εω ) of RWTDI(ω ), where εω is the tail measure on Eω corresponding to starting RWTDI(ω ) from the group identity at time 0 (Proposition 1.11).
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
As it follows from Theorem 2.6 (see Remark 2.7), triviality of the tail boundary of RWTDI(ω ) implies triviality of the tail boundary of RWTDI(T ω ).
Boundaries and harmonic functions for random walks with random transition probabilities
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