- gained by association with another, especially with a successful or celebrated person: coattail benefits.
- on someone's coattails, aided by association with another person: The senator rode into office on the president's coattails.
- on the coattails of, immediately after or as a result of: His decline in popularity followed on the coattails of the scandal.
Origin of coattail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for coat-tail
An' I seed her touch his coat-tail, like as if she loved it, but didn't dast do no more.Quaint Courtships
Mr. Rabbit took off his spectacles and wiped them on his coat-tail.Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country
Joel Chandler Harris
His cap was back in his coat-tail, and he had become again the bluff and burly Briton.
But Barstein drew back his own coat-tail from the attempted kiss.
It was this coat-tail which served as a suggestion to Mr. Scales's genius.Felix Holt, The Radical
- the long tapering tails at the back of a man's tailed coat
- on someone's coat-tails thanks to the popularity or success of someone else
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012