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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Tail


TAIL, noun

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 Deuteronomy 28:13.

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 transitive To pull by the tail