tail

The part of a dog's body that wags enthusiastically when the dog is happy is the tail. In mammals, tails are actually an extension of the spinal column.

Tails serve various purposes in different animals. A fish's tail helps it move through the water, a cow's tail is a built-in fly swatter, and a scorpion uses its tail for self-defense. This noun also means simply "back end," like the tail of an airplane or the tail of a suit jacket. Colloquially, to tail someone means to follow them secretly.

Primary Meanings of tail

1.
nv
the posterior part of the body of a vertebrate especially when elongated and extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body
remove or shorten the tail of an animal
2.
n
the time of the last part of something
3.
nv
a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements
go after with the intent to catch
4.
n
(usually plural) the reverse side of a coin that does not bear the representation of a person's head
Full Definitions of tail
1

n the posterior part of the body of a vertebrate especially when elongated and extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body

Types:
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
rattle
loosely connected horny sections at the end of a rattlesnake's tail
brush
a bushy tail or part of a bushy tail (especially of the fox)
bob, bobtail, dock
a short or shortened tail of certain animals
caudal appendage
tail especially of a mammal posterior to and above the anus
uropygium
posterior part of a bird's body from which the tail feathers grow
oxtail
the skinned tail of cattle; used especially for soups
fluke
either of the two lobes of the tail of a cetacean
scut
a short erect tail
flag
a conspicuously marked or shaped tail
Type of:
appendage, outgrowth, process
a natural prolongation or projection from a part of an organism either animal or plant

n any projection that resembles the tail of an animal

Synonyms:
tail end
Type of:
projection
any solid convex shape that juts out from something

n the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on

Synonyms:
ass, backside, behind, bottom, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, can, derriere, fanny, fundament, hind end, hindquarters, keister, nates, posterior, prat, rear, rear end, rump, seat, stern, tail end, tooshie, tush
Type of:
body part
any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity

n the rear part of an aircraft

Synonyms:
empennage, tail assembly
Type of:
back, rear
the side that goes last or is not normally seen

n the rear part of a ship

Synonyms:
after part, poop, quarter, stern
Type of:
back, rear
the side that goes last or is not normally seen

v remove or shorten the tail of an animal

Synonyms:
bob, dock
Type of:
cut
separate with or as if with an instrument

v remove the stalk of fruits or berries

Type of:
pinch, top
cut the top off
2

n the time of the last part of something

“the tail of the storm”
Synonyms:
fag end, tail end
Type of:
end, ending
the point in time at which something ends
3

n a spy employed to follow someone and report their movements

Synonyms:
shadow, shadower
Type of:
follower
someone who travels behind or pursues another
spy
a secret watcher; someone who secretly watches other people

v go after with the intent to catch

Synonyms:
chase, chase after, dog, give chase, go after, tag, track, trail
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
tree
chase an animal up a tree
quest
search the trail of (game)
hound, hunt, trace
pursue or chase relentlessly
run down
pursue until captured
ferret
hound or harry relentlessly
Type of:
follow, pursue
follow in or as if in pursuit
4

n (usually plural) the reverse side of a coin that does not bear the representation of a person's head

Antonyms:
head
(usually plural) the obverse side of a coin that usually bears the representation of a person's head
Type of:
reverse, verso
the side of a coin or medal that does not bear the principal design

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.