General English


  • Dusty or gassy material trailed from a comet in the inner solar system under the influence of solar radiation. A comet tail is only slightly denser than deep space itself, and shines by reflection of sunlight from dusty material and by the fluorescence of gas molecules. The dusty and gassy types of tail often separate out as forces of differing strength and type act on them.



  • noun a spread between the bid price and the lowest acceptable price on US Treasury bills
  • noun the figures which come after the decimal point (in the quoted price of a bond)


  • noun data recognised as the end of a list of data
  • noun a control code used to signal the end of a message


  • The bottom part of a slate shingle.
  • The part of the roof rafter that extends beyond the wall line.
  • The section of a stone step that extends into a wall.


  • noun the lower end of a side’s batting order, usually consisting of players who are in the team primarily for their bowling skills and are not expected to contribute significantly to the team’s score; a tail may be ‘long’ or ‘short’, depending on the number of weaker batsmen; if the late order batsmen unexpectedly make a lot of runs, the tail is said to ‘wag’
    Citation ‘The English tail again wagged strongly and it was not until 3 o’clock that the last wicket fell’ (Melbourne Argus 19 January 1933)
    Citation ‘Nor did England’s tail dither: 114 runs came in 133 deliveries, including the ninth and tenth sixes of the innings from Harmison and Jones’ (Haigh 2005)


  • The rear, bottom, or lowest part of something.
  • A small pulse that follows, and is in the same direction as the main pulse that produced it.
  • A brief signal that remains after the actuating signal is removed. For example, a brief signal emitted by a transmitter after talking has stopped.
  • synonymtrailing edge


  • The tails of animals or fish. Of the animal tails only oxtail is commonly used. Pigs’ tails are occasionally used in some cuisines.

Media Studies

  • noun the bottom of a printed page, or the margin between the bottom of the page and the lowest line of type


  • noun the rear elements of a large military force or grouping


  • noun a curved end stroke on a letter, such as the capitals R or K
  • noun the bottom edge of a book or page

Real Estate

  • verb to build one end of something such as a joist, beam or brick into a wall, or be fixed into a wall at one end


Origin & History of “tail”

Tail comes from a prehistoric Germanic *taglaz, whose other modern descendants include German zagel ‘penis’ and Swedish tagel ‘horsehair’. this in turn went back to an Indo-European *doklos, which had the general meaning ‘something long and thin’.