Definition for TAIL

TAIL, n.1 [Sax. tægl; Ice. tagl; dim. of tag, a shoot, or from Goth. taga, hair.]

  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. xxviii.
  3. Any thing hanging long; a catkin. Harvey.
  4. The hinder part of any thing. Butler.
  5. In anatomy, that tendon of a muscle which is fixed to the movable part. Cyc.
  6. In botany, the tail of a seed, is a downy or feathery appendage to certain seeds, formed of the permanent elongated style. Cyc.
  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. Cyc.
  8. In heraldry, the tail of a hart.
  9. In music, the part of a note running upward or downward.
  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.

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