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  1. the back of the skirt on a man's coat or jacket.
  2. one of the two back parts of the skirt of a coat, especially one of the tails on a tail coat.
  1. gained by association with another, especially with a successful or celebrated person: coattail benefits.
  1. on someone's coattails, aided by association with another person: The senator rode into office on the president's coattails.
  2. 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

First recorded in 1590–1600; coat + tail1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coattail

Historical Examples

  • He moved off, his coattail bobbing oddly about his hips and his back bowed.

    The Best Short Stories of 1919


  • Only the weight of the lumps of metal dangling in his coattail pocket kept him from collapsing.

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