Two ring-tailed lemurs, each with a long tail.




  • To follow and observe surreptitiously.
  • To hold by the end; said of a timber when it rests upon a wall or other support; with in or into
  • To swing with the stern in a certain direction; said of a vessel at anchor.
  • To follow or hang to, like a tail; to be attached closely to, as that which can not be evaded.
  • To pull or draw by the tail.


  • Limited; abridged; reduced; curtailed.


Narrower meaning words


  • From Middle English tail, tayl, teil, from Old English tæġl ("tail"), from Proto-Germanic *taglaz, *taglą, from Proto-Indo-European *doḱ- ("hair of the tail"), from Proto-Indo-European *deḱ- ("to tear, fray, shred"). Cognate with Scots tail ("tail"), Dutch teil ("tail, haulm, blade"), Low German Tagel ("twisted scourge, whip of thongs and ropes; end of a rope"), German Zagel ("tail"), dialectal Danish tavl ("hair of the tail"), Swedish tagel ("hair of the tail, horsehair"), Norwegian tagl ("tail"), Icelandic tagl ("tail, horsetail, ponytail"), Gothic 𐍄𐌰𐌲𐌻 ("hair"). In some senses, apparently by a generalization of the usual opposition between head and tail.
  • From Anglo-Norman, probably from a shortened form of entail.

Modern English dictionary

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