tail

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tail

1
1. the region of the vertebrate body that is posterior to or above the anus and contains an elongation of the vertebral column, esp forming a flexible movable appendage
2. the rear part of an aircraft including the fin, tail plane, and control surfaces; empennage
3. Astronomy the luminous stream of gas and dust particles, up to 200 million kilometres long, driven from the head of a comet, when close to the sun, under the effect of the solar wind and light pressure
4. Angling the lowest fly on a wet-fly cast
5. a final short line in a stanza
6. the lower end of a pool or part of a stream

tail

2 Property law
1. the limitation of an estate or interest to a person and the heirs of his body
2. (of an estate or interest) limited in this way
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

tail

Short for comet tail.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tail

 

a more or less isolated and mobile posterior section of the body in vertebrates that performs various functions.

In fishes the tail section is not sharply differentiated from the body and is usually equipped with a large fin—the main organ of locomotion. The tail of terrestrial vertebrates does not perform a locomotive function, although in many animals, for example, caudate amphibians and reptiles, it serves as an auxiliary organ of locomotion. In extant birds the caudal section proper of the spine is shortened; in Carinatae it is represented by five to seven vertebrae that are concresced into the coccyx, or pygostyle, which supports the rectrices. The tail of mammals is a slender, mobile appendage of varying length; the skeletal axis consists of three to 49 free vertebrae.

The tail may be prehensile, serving as an aid in climbing (opossums, certain anteaters and monkeys, raccoons). It may serve as an organ of support and a rudder in some jumping animals (kangaroos, jerboas, great jerboas), or it may act as a parachute (squirrels, dormouses). The short tail of whales and sirens has developed a fin and, thus, performs a locomotive function. Some animals, for example, horses and cattle, drive away flying insects with their tails. In a number of mammals the tail is reduced.

In the human embryo a tail appears at the end of the first month or the beginning of the second. With normal development it disappears during the third month. The presence of a tail in a human in the postembryonic period is an example of atavism.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about a tail?

A tail can refer to excitement, as in a dog that wags its tale, or the opposite, as when a tail is dragged between one’s legs. There are numerous idioms involving this word, and dreams in which a tail is featured can be alluding to the meaning of any one of them: “turn tail,” “on someone else’s coattails,” a “tail wagging the dog,” or the “tail end” of something.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.

tail

[tāl]
(aerospace engineering)
The rear part of a body, as of an aircraft or a rocket.
The tail surfaces of an aircraft or a rocket.
(astronomy)
The part of a comet that extends from the coma in a direction opposite to the sun; it consists of dust and gas that have been blown away from the coma by the solar wind and the sun's radiation pressure.
(electronics)
A small pulse that follows the main pulse of a radar set and rises in the same direction.
The trailing edge of a pulse.
(mathematics)
For a stochastic process represented by x (t1), x (t2),…, the process obtained by deleting the first n terms, for some n.
(vertebrate zoology)
The usually slender appendage that arises immediately above the anus in many vertebrates and contains the caudal vertebrae.
The uropygium, and its feathers, of a bird.
The caudal fin of a fish or aquatic mammal.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tail

1. Exposed lower portion of a slate shingle.
2. Tailing.
3.See rafter tail.
4.See lookout.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tail

tail
tail
i. The rear part of a body, as of an aircraft, a rocket, etc.
ii. The tail surfaces of an aircraft or rocket.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
References in periodicals archive ?
James Anderson and Stuart Broad celebrate after their new ball burst blew Australia's tail away yesterday morning PHILIP BROWN
"We see teams coming into the league and some of them don't get to the second season because they start off like a house on fire and they tail away so they don't even make it at the end, but we see a definite levelling off.
Pushing the tail away from the intended turn direction and the nose toward it helps the turn, but there is a stronger force pushing the tail opposite the intended turn direction.
"If there is any slender chance, it appears to be left to Boxing Day to produce something, when temperatures do tail away somewhat, but at the most it will be a dusting over the highlands of Scotland, or a flurry or two down the eastern side of the UK."